Match Play: Sean Martin's second-round predictions
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Our Sean Martin (follow him on Twitter here) makes his bold predictions for the second round at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship:
• Carl Pettersson/Rickie Fowler def. Shane Lowry, 2 and 1: Yes, Lowry beat Rory McIlroy, but both players admit it was an ugly match. Pettersson is 1 up on Fowler on the 18th hole.
• Alexander Noren def. Graeme McDowell, 2 and 1: Could Noren be one of this year's surprises? He made seven birdies in 13 holes Thursday.
• Bubba Watson def. Jim Furyk, 3 and 2: Dove Mountain is a big course with wide fairways, perfect for Watson. He finished fourth here in 2011.
• Jason Day def. Russell Henley, 1 up: Day rolled over Zach Johnson, 6 and 5. I look for that to continue.
• Louis Oosthuizen def. Robert Garrigus, 3 and 2: I picked Oosthuizen to win this week, but Garrigus is a dangerous opponent. It's all about the putter for Garrigus.
• Fredrik Jacobson def. Marcus Fraser, 2 and 1: Have to love the 13-12 matchup. Jacobson entered this tournament in good form, having finished in the top-10 at Pebble Beach and Riviera, and it looks like that form is continuing.
• Justin Rose def. Nicolas Colsaerts, 1 up: This should be a good match, but I give the edge to Rose, who I think is still underrated.
• Matt Kuchar def. Sergio Garcia, 3 and 2: Garcia barely escaped his first-round match, and Kuchar has a good record here, having advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the past two years.
• Charles Howell III def. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano/Francesco Molinari, 4 and 3: Howell's good start to the season continues. Fernandez-Castano and Molinari have three holes remaining in their match.
• Peter Hanson def. Webb Simpson, 1 up: I'm picking an upset here. Hanson was a quarterfinalist last year.
• Martin Kaymer def. Rafael Cabrera-Bello, 1 up: The 2011 runner-up makes another run this year.
• Hunter Mahan def. Richard Sterne, 3 and 2: The defending champion rolled, 5 and 4, over Matteo Manassero. Looks like he's enjoying his time at Dove Mountain.
• Luke Donald def. Scott Piercy, 4 and 3: The 2011 champion is perfect for match play because of his steady play.
• Nick Watney def. Steve Stricker, 2 and 1: Watney has advanced to the Round of 16 in all three of his appearances here. I expect that streak to continue.
• Thorbjorn Olesen def. Tim Clark, 2 and 1: Olesen's stock is rising. This could be part of a big 2013.
• Ian Poulter def. Bo Van Pelt, 4 and 3: I always favor the good putter in match play.