Accenture Match Play opening-round matches to watch
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- A look at the most intriguing first-round matches at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, which begins Wednesday.
(4) Justin Leonard vs. (13) Jose Maria Olazabal -- 12:56 p.m. ET
Not only is this a reprise of an opening-round match last year (Olazabal won, 1-up), it's impossible to watch these two without thinking of the 1999 Ryder Cup. Leonard's 45-foot putt set off the avalanche of U.S. golfers across the green. Leonard has played the better of the two this year, with three top-25s in four events.
(8) Fred Funk vs. (9) K.J. Choi -- 2:08 p.m. ET
Two guys who can manage their game, two guys with two top-five finishes this year, and two guys who better play well. One of them will meet the Woods-Pettersson winner in the second round.
(2) Davis Love III vs. (15) Paul Casey -- 12:24 p.m. ET
While Love hung on to win at Pebble Beach three weeks ago, Casey was winning his second European Tour event, the ANZ Championship in Sydney. The 25-year-old Englishman won three consecutive Pac-10 titles at Arizona State (1998-2000). Love, 38, reached the semifinals of the 2000 Match Play. The winner meets the Darren Clarke-Tim Clark winner.
(3) Jim Furyk vs. (14) Len Mattiace -- 11:20 a.m. ET
Furyk has two top-10 finishes already this year and has made it to the round of 16 in his last two appearances (2000, 2002) in the Match Play. Mattiace, making his Match Play debut, tied for eighth last week at Riviera.
(6) Rich Beem vs. (11) Steve Lowery -- 11:28 a.m. ET
A "replay" of sorts of the most entertaining "match" of 2002, which took place in the final round of the International. Beem held on to beat Lowery, who holed out for an eagle and double eagle on the back nine.
(7) David Duval vs. (10) Justin Rose -- 12:16 p.m. ET
Rose emerged last year with two victories on the European Tour. The 22-year-old has three top-10 finishes in as many starts on that tour this year. Duval has picked up where he left off last season as well -- he hasn't recaptured the form responsible for 13 PGA Tour victories, including the 2001 British Open. Duval shot 73-75 on the weekend in Los Angeles last week and tied for 42nd.
Ivan Maisel is a senior writer at ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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