Accenture Match Play quarterfinals/semifinals analysis
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- OK, so maybe there wasn't much star power left at the Accenture Match Play Championship on Saturday -- with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh all losing before the weekend -- but that doesn't mean there wasn't entertaining golf being played. We break down the two semifinals and four quarterfinals matches.
BOBBY JONES/BEN HOGAN SEMIFINAL Matchup Result Analysis (1) Retief Goosen vs.
(4) Chris DiMarco
DiMarco, 2 and 1 Hope you buckled up your seatbelt for this roller-coaster ride of a match. Goosen started par-birdie-birdie to go 3 up through three holes and it looked like it could be an easy victory for the U.S. Open champ from there. After all, each winner in the four quarterfinals matches never trailed, so there weren't a whole lot of comebacks going on at La Costa. But DiMarco got two back on the seventh and eighth holes and made the turn only 1 down. That's when the University of Florida alum got really hot, making four birdies in his next five holes to go 2 up through 14. As is his emotional nature, DiMarco gave a big fist-pump reaction upon winning the match, an upset over the world's fifth-ranked player. GARY PLAYER/SAM SNEAD SEMIFINAL Matchup Result Analysis (4) David Toms vs.
(11) Ian Poulter
Toms, 3 and 2 Another wild semifinal match here, as the Toms and Poulter only halved five of the 16 holes they played. It was all square through eight holes, but that's when the Louisiana native added a little cajun spice to his game; in other words, he was red-hot. Toms played the next three holes birdie-eagle-eagle, including hole-outs on the 10th and 11th, and never led by less than two holes afterwards. Toms reaches the Match Play final for the second time in three years; he lost to Tiger Woods in 2003. BOBBY JONES BRACKET Matchup Result Analysis (2) Stewart Cink vs.
(4) Chris DiMarco
DiMarco, 2 and 1 This was the All-American bracket from the beginning, with 12 U.S. players -- including Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman -- comprising the field. So it's not surprising that two former Ryder Cuppers wound up battling it out for the right to go to the final four. DiMarco never trailed in this one, winning the first hole with a birdie. What was expected to be an evenly-played match actually was, with Cink and DiMarco halving 11 of the 17 holes they played. We still can't figure out DiMarco, who plays great some weeks and well below average during others, but he sure is fun to watch when he gets it going. Nothing like watching a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve when he's playing well. BEN HOGAN BRACKET Matchup Result Analysis (1) Retief Goosen vs.
(11) Robert Allenby
Goosen, 4 and 3 Pretty stark contrast in performances in this match. Goosen was on his game, making six birdies in only 15 holes, while Allenby, um, wasn't. The Aussie made three birdies, but conceded five holes to Goosen, who is the only No. 1 seed left in the field. It's possible Goosen could regain the fourth spot in the World Ranking with a win at this event; Phil Mickelson passed him with two recent victories on tour. GARY PLAYER BRACKET Matchup Result Analysis (8) Nick O'Hern vs.
(11) Ian Poulter
Poulter, 3 and 1 Even though O'Hern was seeded No. 8 and Poulter was 11th, O'Hern was probably the underdog entering this match. The lefty from Australia never really got things going, perhaps feeling the effects of a whirlwind two days during which he defeated Charles Howell III, Tiger Woods and Luke Donald. This match was all square at the turn, but Poulter went par-birdie-par to win the opening three holes of the back nine and put the match out of reach. SAM SNEAD BRACKET Matchup Result Analysis (3) Adam Scott vs.
(4) David Toms
Toms, 2 and 1 Just call Toms a giant-killer. Or a streak-buster. One day after knocking off the hottest player in the world, Phil Mickelson, Toms beat the other hottest player in the world in Scott. How did he do it? Just by playing his normal steady game. Toms made five birdies and 12 pars in a bogey-free 17-hole match to reach the semifinals for the second time in three years. In 2003, he lost in the finals to Woods.
Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com
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