Accenture Match Play second-round preview

Originally Published: February 24, 2005
By Jason Sobel |

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship gave us plenty of entertainment and even a few surprises. How will the second round shape up? We break it all down.

Matchup Analysis The smart money says ...
(1) Vijay Singh vs.
(9) Jay Haas
Singh is in danger of losing his No. 1 World Ranking this week, so even though he hasn't played well in this event before, expect him to make a run at the title. If Singh is to lose early, it will be to someone who never backs down, someone who's confident in his own game, someone who plays the course, rather than his opponent, someone ... like Jay Haas.
(4) Chris DiMarco vs.
(12) John Daly
Just as he did against Justin Leonard in the first round, Daly will pound his drives way past those of DiMarco. And length is a major key on a wat course like La Costa. During the first two days of last year's Ryder Cup, DiMarco was the only U.S. player who looked like he even had a pulse. Not only will he not be intimidated by Daly's length, he'll feed off trying to beat a big name.
(2) Stewart Cink vs.
(10) Tom Lehman
Like long putters? Then you'll love this match between the two foremost users of the belly putter on tour! There were 12 potential '06 U.S. Ryder Cuppers in this bracket entering the tournament. Don't think for a second that Ol' Tom Lehman doesn't want to show his troops a thing or two this week.
(3) Davis Love III vs.
(6) Lee Westwood
Should be a terrific match. Two experienced Ryder Cup competitors, who know the ins and outs of match play. Love made the finals a year ago and his game looks to be in the best shape it's been in since then. Expect him to squeak by Westy.

Matchup Analysis The smart money says ...
(1) Retief Goosen vs.
(9) Fred Couples
You won't see a whole lot of clubs being tossed in this one. Goosen is the most stoic golfer on tour and Couples always walks the course with the gait of a man who looks like he's on vacation. Couples isn't the player he used to be. It would be a pretty big upset if he were to knock off the Goose.
(4) Miguel Angel Jimenez vs.
(5) Chad Campbell
If this were the NCAA tourney, this would be a prime-time national TV second-round game. Doesn't get much better than a four versus a five. Is anyone ever going to recognize how hot Jimenez has been over the past 14 months? He won four Euro Tour events in '04 ... and still lost out on Player of the Year to Vijay Singh. Expect him to earn a little more respect here.
(15) Kirk Triplett vs.
(10) Craig Parry
Either way, a double-digit seed is making the Sweet 16. Triplett was the only 15 seed to win on Thursday, as he took out Mike Weir, 1 up. Parry's a dodgy little fellow and he has a habit of making magic this time of year. Remember the hole-out at Doral last season?
(14) Graeme McDowell vs.
(11) Robert Allenby
We say McDowell over Clarke was the biggest upset of the first round. Can he do it again? Don't count on it. McDowell must have been so wired after beating his Northern Ireland compatriot, expect his luck to turn. Allenby looks like he's finally getting his swing back.

Matchup Analysis The smart money says ...
(1) Tiger Woods vs.
(8) Nick O'Hern
Not the match everyone wanted, as a Woods/Charles Howell III pairing would have been a battle of two good friends ... and might have brought out a few smiles from Tiger -- something we don't see much these days. Jeopardy! time. Answer: Peter O'Malley. Question: Who was the last player to beat Woods at the Match Play? Tiger has won 13 straight matches at La Costa. Can O'Hern break that streak? Uh, doubtful.
(4) Kenny Perry vs.
(5) Luke Donald
Perry really didn't play all that well in a win over Thomas Levet. Donald seems like he always plays well, his first-round match against Zach Johnson included. Donald. Donald. Donald. Bet the ranch on it.
(2) Padraig Harrington vs.
(10) Rory Sabbatini
Harrington is expected to play more U.S. events this year, starting with this one. He's finished better at the Match Play in each of the past three years. Sabbatini demolished Thomas Bjorn on Thursday, but Harrington is about twice the player of Bjorn these days.
(3) Stuart Appleby vs.
(11) Ian Poulter
Poulter was dead solid perfect against Jim Furyk in the first round, making seven birdies and no bogeys in 17 holes. Appleby needed extra holes against Joakim Haeggman. Should be a good match. If Poulter breaks out some crazy pants, expect Appleby to be too distracted to play well.

Matchup Analysis The smart money says ...
(1) Phil Mickelson vs.
(8) Angel Cabrera
Great draw for Mickelson in the Snead bracket. First he plays 49-year-old Loren Roberts, now Cabrera, whose skills have dimished over the past few years. Lefty can already start looking ahead to a possible Sweet 16 matchup with Toms.
(4) David Toms vs.
(12) Mark Hensby
Toms is the heavy favorite, but if Hensby plays anywhere close to the way he did on Thursday, this one's in the bag. Don't expect that he will. Toms is a vet of this event and knows how to win in match play.
(2) Sergio Garcia vs.
(10) Jerry Kelly
Whoa! We're having deja vu -- these two guys squared off in the second round last year and Kelly pulled off the upset. Can he do it again? Why not? Kelly is a bulldog in match play, this one will go down to the wire.
(3) Adam Scott vs.
(11) David Howell
Howell had an impressive victory over Shigeki Maruyama in the first round, but Scott is in a total zone right now. Scott wins this one going away. We may see him still playing on Sunday.

Jason Sobel is's golf editor. He can be reached at

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