|WGC-Accenture Match Play - February 16, 2010
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS-
ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,849
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 550
Purse: $8,500,000Winner: $1,530,000
2009 Champion: Geoff Ogilvy (4 and 3)
Ogilvy Has Become a Dominant Presence
at Accenture Match Play Championship
Geoff Ogivly has established himself as one of the best match-play players in the world, a reputation cemented at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he’s won two of the last four tournaments. A year ago, Ogilvy defeated Paul Casey, 4 and 3 to improve his overall record to 17-2. Ogilvy first won in 2006 and was also the runner-up in 2007, losing in the finals to Henrik Stenson.
For the second consecutive year, the 64 top-available players from the Official World Golf Ranking are gathering at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, in the Tucson suburb of Marana, AZ. The single-elimination tournament begins Wednesday, Feb. 17, with the quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Saturday, and the 36-hole final set for Sunday.
Ogilvy, ranked 12th in the OWGR and seeded No. 3 this week, opened his PGA TOUR season with a successful defense of his 2009 SBS Championship title. He is sixth in the FedExCup standings and is the only player besides Tiger Woods to have won at least three World Golf Championships titles. Ogilvy also won the 2008 CA Championship.
MAYAKOBA GOLF CLASSIC
AT RIVIERA MAYA-CANCUN
Mayakoba Resort (El Camaleon)
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 6,923
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 250
Purse: $3,600,000Winner: $648,000
2009 Champion: Mark Wilson (267, -13)
Mexico Again Hosts Wilson's Defense of
Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun
With four rounds in the 60s at last year’s Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, Mark Wilson earned his second PGA TOUR title with a two-stroke win over J.J. Henry. Wilson won his first TOUR title in 2007 at The Honda Classic.
This week, Wilson will defend his title at El Camaleon Golf Club during the fourth annual event—one of four FedExCup Regular Season tournaments played outside the United States. The Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular is next month, with the British Open and the RBC Canadian Open on back-to-back weeks in July.
This season, Wilson has made four of five cuts, with his best performance a tie for 20th at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Wilson is 70th in the FedExCup standings.
Accenture Match Play Championship Notes
This is the fourth consecutive year this tournament is in Arizona. From 1999 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2006, the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA, was the site of the PGA TOUR’s only match-play event. From 2007 to 2008, The Gallery at Dove Mountain was the host site, with The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain taking over last year and again serving as the site this year. In 2001, The Metropolitan Club in Victoria, Australia, was the tournament site—the only time an outside-the-United States venue has been used for the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Tiger Woods has won more matches than any other player, with 32 wins. His overall record is 32-7. David Toms is next, with a 23-8 mark. The others with at least 13 match victories are Davis Love III (19-10), Stewart Cink (18-9), Geoff Ogilvy (17-2), Phil Mickelson (15-10), Darren Clarke (14-7) and Adam Scott (13-8). Woods, Love and Clarke are not playing this week.
Only four players have won multiple World Golf Championships titles. Tiger Woods leads the way, with 15 victories, followed by defending Accenture Match Play Championship champion Geoff Ogilvy, who has three titles. Darren Clarke and Phil Mickelson have won two World Golf Championships events.
For only the second time in the tournament’s 11-year history, the winner and runner-up came from outside the United States. A year ago, Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy defeated England’s Paul Casey, 4 and 3. In 2007, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson defeated Ogilvy in the finals, 2 and 1.
Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy didn’t find his early matches easy on his way to victory at the 2009 Accenture Match Play Championship. In the first round, Ogilvy needed 19 holes to defeat Kevin Sutherland. He again went 19 holes to eliminate Shingo Katayama in the second round.
Edoardo Molinari and Francesco Molinari made history last November when they teamed to win the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup. It was the first time brothers had represented their country and gone on to win that tournament. Italy defeated Ireland (Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy) by a stroke in China. The Molinaris are again making history this week. For the first time, brothers will be competing at the same time in the Accenture Match Play Championship. Francesco, the younger of the two brothers by 19 months, is an 11 seed, playing Zach Johnson in the first round in the Sam Snead Bracket. Also in that same bracket is Edoardo, seeded 12th and pitted against Stewart Cink in the first round. The brothers could potentially meet in the quarterfinals if they each win their first three matches.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
• Geoff Ogilvy will be back looking for his second consecutive (and third overall) title in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship this week. With a win, Ogilvy would match Tiger Woods as the only players to win the event three times. Ogilvy has a remarkable 17-2 record in the event.
• This is the youngest field in the history of the Accenture Match Play Championship with the 64 competitors averaging 33.02 years of age. There are a record 23 players in their 20s entered. Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa will become the youngest player to ever compete in the event when he tees it up Wednesday at age 18.
• There will be 15 players making their debut in the elite field at the Accenture Match Play Championship — Ryo Ishikawa, Chris Wood, Michael Sim, Kevin Na, Ryan Moore, Ross McGowan, Nick Watney, Matt Kuchar, Brian Gay, Thongchai Jaidee, Yuta Ikeda, Edoardo Molinari, Francesco Molinari, Alexander Noren, and Simon Dyson.
• There will be 20 countries represented this week in Tucson and four countries have made it to the winners circle in the first 11 years of this event—U.S., Northern Ireland, Sweden and Australia.
• After starting in all 32 previous World Golf Championships individual events, Stuart Appleby will finally miss one. The Aussie did not qualify for the final 64-man field at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
• Since the start of the 2008 season, the player who led a field in Driving Distance has won a tournament just three times and all three times it was Dustin Johnson. Johnson won again this past week at Pebble Beach after leading the field in Driving Distance. Less you think he just hits it long, he also was 15th in Driving Accuracy and third in Greens in Regulation.
• Two rookies, Josh Teater and Blake Adams, each posted their first career Top-10 finish last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Teater finished T5 and Adams T10. Fellow rookie Alex Prugh just missed out on his fourth consecutive Top-10, finishing T27 after making a quadruple bogey nine on the 14th hole in the final round. A bogey would have given him a T10.
• Look for a veteran this week at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun. The first three winners of the tournament — Fred Funk, Brian Gay and Mark Wilson, were all 35 years of age or more.
• Veteran Chris Smith will make his first start on the PGA TOUR since the tragic death of his wife last summer in a car accident back in Indiana. Smith will tee it up at the Mayakoba Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun on a sponsor exemption.
• Fred Couples has made quite a splash in his first two Champions Tour starts. He’s earned a victory and a second while shooting scores of 65-66-64-68-67-64—that’s 38-under par.
• Scott Hoch made his first start since withdrawing after the first round of last year’s U.S. Senior Open due to a wrist injury. The layoff didn’t appear to bother him, though. He finished solo third last week at The ACE Group Classic after rounds of 70-68-69.
• With his victory last week, Fred Couples became the 32nd former major championship winner to later win on the Champions Tour.