Top seeds keep falling at Match Play Championship
BY Associated Press
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2/23/13 at 5:35 AM
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods now have plenty of company - somewhere other than the Match Play Championship.
One day after the best two players in the world went home, more top seeds followed Friday in Marana, Ariz., when golf's most unpredictable tournament served up another reminder that the only time the word "upset" should be used is to describe the guys who are no longer playing.
Luke Donald, the No. 3 seed who is regarded among the best in match play, suffered his worst loss in 25 matches at this tournament. Louis Oosthuizen (No. 4) and Justin Rose (No. 5) never even reached the 17th tee when it was time for them to leave.
When another wild day ended at Dove Mountain, Masters champion Bubba Watson was the last man standing among the top 10 seeds.
"This game ... it's a toss-up," Watson said after going 22 holes to beat Jim Furyk. "You can't really judge who's going to win, or bet who's going to win. It really means nothing, is what I'm saying."
At least he's still playing, even though he made it hard on himself.
Watson missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have won the match. He missed another 5-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole. He had to stand to the side of the green as Furyk stood over a 12-foot putt to win the match. Given new life, Watson finally advanced to the third round.
It was the first time since this World Golf Championship began in 1999 that only one top-10 seed was remaining after two rounds.
"I think we're beyond surprises, in this event especially," Graeme McDowell said after needing 20 holes to beat former Oklahoma State player Alex Noren. "Anybody can have a great day and anybody can have a tough day. It's what makes the game exciting, and it's what makes this game extremely fickle and extremely frustrating."
One day after beating Woods, ex-OSU star Charles Howell III didn't make a single birdie. Howell lost 6-and-5 to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who had to finish his 1-up win over Francesco Molinari in the morning. Fernandez-Castano never lost a hole.
Defending champion and former OSU star Hunter Mahan had an easy time with Richard Sterne to win his eighth straight match, and next faces the last player to beat him in this event - Martin Kaymer, who defeated Rafael Cabrera Bello of Spain.
Ian Poulter built a big lead over Tulsa resident Bo Van Pelt and hung on to win on the 17th hole. Poulter is the No. 11 seed and faces Tim Clark of South Africa.
Lewis leads LPGA Thailand: In Chonburi, Thailand, formerArkansas standout Stacy Lewis shot a 3-under 69 to keep her three-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Thailand.
Original Print Headline: Seeds falling at Match Play
Bubba Watson misses a putt on the fourth green in the second round of play against Jim Furyk during the Match Play Championship on Friday in Marana, Ariz. Watson eventually won the match. JULIE JACOBSON/Associated Press