Accenture Match Play first-round analysis

Originally Published: February 24, 2005
By Jason Sobel | ESPN.com

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The Accenture Match Play finally got under way a day later than scheduled. In case you missed any of the action, here is analysis on all of the day's first-round matches.

BOBBY JONES BRACKET
Matchup Result Analysis
(1) Vijay Singh vs.
(16) S. Katayama
Singh, 4&3 Like you expected anything less? The world's No. 1 player -- for now, anyway -- made quick work of Katayama, taking two of the first three holes. Singh doesn't own a very good match-play record, but this one was a lock.
(8) Jonathan Kaye vs.
(9) Jay Haas
Haas, 4&2 Haas got down early, losing two of the first three holes, but like the crafty veteran that he is, the 51-year-old climbed his way back into this one. "Jonathan didn't play very well, didn't play up to his standards," Haas said. It showed in the final score.
(5) Justin Leonard
(12) John Daly
Daly, 1 up This one might have been the match of the day. Neither player was more than one hole in the lead until the 16th, when Leonard missed a short par putt that gave Daly a 2 up advantage. Leonard looked done on 17, as his second shot was just off the green and Daly's was safely on the green, but Leonard chipped in and Daly missed to send the match to 18, where Leonard's birdie putt to keep the match going missed off the left edge.
(4) Chris DiMarco vs.
(13) Tim Herron
DiMarco, 1 up DiMarco never trailed in this one against a his American counterpart. Two down coming to the 17th hole, Herron made birdie to win the hole, but the players exchanged birdies on the last to clinch the match for DiMarco.
(6) Lee Westwood vs.
(11) Steve Flesch
Westwood, 4&3 Flesch desperately wanted to be named as one of Hal Sutton's Ryder Cup captain's picks a year ago. Instead, we had to wait until Thursday to see the lefty take on a European counterpart and the results were pretty similar to those at Oakland Hills.
(3) Davis Love III vs.
(14) Chris Riley
Love, 1 up This one featured a pair of Ryder Cup teammates. Love was one of many American players who took Riley under his wing last September and the Las Vegas native almost paid him back with an upset. Instead, Love birdied the final hole to take the match.
(7) K.J. Choi vs.
(10) Tom Lehman
Lehman, 4&2 Lehman's "bulldog" attitude plus his great recent play equaled an impressive victory in this one. The '06 U.S. Ryder Cup captain was 5 up through 12 holes and never looked back.
(2) Stewart Cink vs.
(15) Fred Funk
Cink, 2 up Great comeback by Cink, the more heavily-favored player in this one. Funk led 2 up through 12 holes, but proceeded to lose four of the final six holes as Cink made a few big birdies down the stretch.

BEN HOGAN BRACKET
Matchup Result Analysis
(1) Retief Goosen vs.
(16) Stephen Leaney
Goosen, 1 up Leaney has made a habit of finishing well in one big American event every year -- he made the semifinals here a year ago and was T-2 at the '03 U.S. Open -- but the solid Goosen was just too much. The fifth-ranked player in the world, Goosen had visions of skipping this tournament, but thought better of it late last week.
(8) Peter Lonard vs.
(9) Fred Couples
Couples, 1 up Neither player did too much in this one -- Couples shot 72, Lonard 73 -- as they totaled only three birdies through 18 holes together. The turning point came early on the back nine, as Freddie made his only birdies on 11 and 13 to win those holes.
(5) C. Campbell vs.
(12) Fredrik Jacobson
Campbell, 2 up Coming off a bogey in his one-hole Monday playoff against Adam Scott at the Nissan, we weren't too sure what to expect from Campbell. But the sweet swinging Texan only made one bogey and birdied the first four holes on the back nine to capture the victory.
(4) M.A. Jimenez vs.
(13) Rod Pampling
Jimenez, 3&2 Yet another match play opponent mezmorized by Jimenez's curly, blond ponytail; there's magic in there somewhere. There was some magic on the back side for Jimenez, too -- he birdied four of his final six holes of the day.
(6) Todd Hamilton vs.
(11) Robert Allenby
Allenby, 6&5 For a guy who said, "(La Costa) is probably the worst course we play on tour. I hate it," just a few days ago, Allenby sure seemed to like the outcome of this match. He didn't make a bogey as this one was over before it started, with Allenby taking a 3 up lead on the reigning British Open champ through the first five holes.
(3) Darren Clarke vs.
(14) Graeme McDowell
McDowell, 1 up This one might be the biggest shocker of the day. McDowell grew up in Northern Ireland idolizing Clarke and played a few rounds with him while still a four-handicap teenager. He showed Clarke that he's not a kid anymore, coming back from 2 down to win the match on 18.
(7) Tim Clark vs.
(10) Craig Parry
Parry, 1 up This was one wild match. The two players exchanged the final five holes of the day -- Parry winning 14, 16 and 18; Clark taking 15 and 17 -- before the Australian came through with the win.
(2) Mike Weir vs.
(15) Kirk Triplett
Triplett, 1 up Another shocker here. Weir has played well in the past two weeks, while Triplett's name hasn't been seen on a leaderboard in a while. This match was even through 10 holes, but Weir made costly bogeys on 12 and 14 that would ultimately be his undoing.

GARY PLAYER BRACKET
Matchup Result Analysis
(1) Tiger Woods vs.
(16) Nick Price
Woods, 4&3 Price spoke a lot about enjoying the underdog role and there was a lot of talk around La Costa of a potential upset here. Instead it was just another day at the office for Tiger, who runs his individual record at this event to an astounding 21-3 overall.
(8) Nick O'Hern vs.
(9) Charles Howell III
O'Hern, 19 holes What a comeback by the lefty. Down two holes heading to the 14th, O'Hern went on a par-birdie-birdie string to take three in a row. Howell made birdie on the 18th to square the match, but O'Hern followed with a birdie of his own on the first extra hole to win.
(5) Luke Donald vs.
(12) Zach Johnson
Donald, 4&3 Talk about tough luck: Johnson made only one birdie on the day ... and he didn't even win the hole, as Donald matched his score on the 11th hole. Donald won three of the final six holes to take the match.
(4) Kenny Perry vs.
(13) Thomas Levet
Perry, 3&2 Neither player came into this one playing his best golf, but it was Levet's struggles which really showed. On the front side, he didn't even take a score for holes six through eight, conceding each to Perry, which wound up being the difference in the match.
(6) Jim Furyk vs.
(11)Ian Poulter
Poulter, 3&1 The man with the funny pants was simply on fire. Poulter made seven birdies and no bogeys in 17 holes in this match of players at the top of their game, as Furyk birdied six holes himself. Poulter wore wristbands reading, "Impossible is Nothing" and "Believe" and certainly those rang true throughout the round.
(3) Stuart Appleby vs.
(14) J. Haeggman
Appleby, 19 holes This one was a back and forth battle throughout the day and finished 18 holes deadlocked, but Appleby made birdie on the first extra hole to clinch the match. Haeggman hasn't enjoyed much success on U.S. soil in his career and that trend continued here.
(7) Thomas Bjorn vs.
(10) Rory Sabbatini
Sabbatini, 6&5 Like a few other Euro Tour players, Bjorn warmed up for this event by playing in Malaysia last week. Unlike the others, Bjorn shot a final-round 77 on Sunday. His trouble continued on Thursday, as he conceded the final three holes of the match, giving Sabbatini an easy win.
(2) P. Harrington vs.
(15) Jeff Maggert
Harrington, 1 up This one looked like a mismatch on paper, but Maggert's a pretty good match play competitor, having won this event in '99. He kept this one close throughout and Harrington three-putted the 17th green to fall to 1 up, but the Irishman birdied the final hole to take the match.

SAM SNEAD BRACKET
Matchup Result Analysis
(1) Phil Mickelson vs.
(16) Loren Roberts
Mickelson, 3&1 Roberts is known as the Boss of the Moss, but Mickelson is actually the better putter these days. The reigning Masters champ made six birdies, including three of the first four holes on the back nine, to gain control of the match.
(8) Angel Cabrera vs.
(9) Paul Casey
Cabrera, 4&2 Casey has been widely criticized after anti-American comments late last year and he has not played well since winning the World Cup with Luke Donald that week. Thursday was no different as he made four bogeys and only two birdies to lose to "The Duck."
(5) Stephen Ames vs.
(12) Mark Hensby
Hensby, 7&6 Wow! What got into Hensby? After taking a DNS at last week's Nissan, Hensby must have felt refreshed, making six birdies in 12 holes in the most one-sided match of the day. His 31 was the lowest recorded front-nine total of the day.
(4) David Toms vs.
(13) Richard Green
Toms, 1 up Toms made the finals here two years ago, but had his hands full with the unknown lefty Australian. How different is match play from stroke play? Well, each man shot 34-36 for a total of 70, but Toms came away with one more hole. Any other tournament and they'd be tied on the scoreboard.
(6) S. Maruyama vs.
(11) David Howell
Howell, 6&5 Beware the sneaky Englishman. Seven minutes before his tee time, Howell "decided to just hit the ball pretty much as hard as I could and see what happens." What happened was that Howell won four of the final five holes on the front side and never looked back.
(3) Adam Scott vs.
(14) T. Immelman
Scott, 2 up Scott had the best round of the day -- scoring-wise -- for any player that finished 18 holes and earned a recorded total. His 65, which included seven birdied and no bogeys, bested Immelman by two strokes.
(7) Scott Verplank vs.
(10) Jerry Kelly
Kelly, 1 up Call this one the matchup of the snubs. A pair of players who missed being captain's picks in last year's Ryder Cup, Kelly and Verplank went right down to the wire. They both brought their usually steady games, hitting most fairways and greens in regulation.
(2) Sergio Garcia vs.
(15) Alex Cejka
Garcia, 4&2 Sergio was simply too much for the high-seeded Cejka in this match. The young Spaniard won five of the first eight holes as this one was never in doubt.

Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com

Jason Sobel | email

Golf Editor, ESPN.com
Jason Sobel, who joined ESPN in 1997, earned four Sports Emmy awards as a member of ESPN's Studio Production department. He became ESPN.com's golf editor in July 2004.