Watson def. Ilonen 2 and 1 in Match Play

Bubba Watson during his first-round 64 at the 2014 Phoenix Open on PGA Tour at TPC Scottsdale.

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Arguably the hottest player on the PGA Tour over the last month, Bubba Watson wins his match against Finland's Mikko Ilonen.

We'll keep you posted on the highlights of the Watson vs. Ilonen match right here – and scroll down for our preview coverage.

• • •

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 482 yards

After Mikko Ilonen can't make a lengthy par-saving putt, Bubba Watson wins his first round match 2 and 1.

Bubba Watson def. Mikko Ilonen, 2 and 1

• • •

Hole No. 15: Par 4, 343 yards

Mikko Ilonen is given a chance to roll in a birdie putt, but it slides right of the cup. This opens a door for Bubba Watson and he sinks a 7 footer for birdie to take a 1-up lead over Ilonen with three holes remaining.

THRU 15: Watson, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 449 yards

With four holes left, Bubba Watson squares up his match against Mikko Ilonen with a birdie.

THRU 14: All square

• • •

Hole No. 13: Par 5, 583 yards

On the last par-5 on the course, Bubba Watson takes advantage with his length and birdies the 13th. Mikko Ilonen can't convert, but still remains 1 up.

THRU 13: Ilonen, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 493 yards

This duo makes the turn and more momentum shifts Mikko Ilonen's way. With another birdie at the 10th (back-to-back), Ilonen takes a 2-up lead over Northern Trust Open champion Bubba Watson.

THRU 10: Ilonen, 2 up

• • •

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 476 yards

Now playing even par golf with a birdie at the ninth, Mikko Ilonen takes the lead again over Bubba Watson.

THRU 9: Ilonen, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 5, 576 yards

A back-and-forth match indeed. Just when you think the momentum favors Mikko Ilonen, Bubba Watson makes an eagle to Ilonen's birdie. The match is back to all square.

THRU 8: All square

• • •

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 486 yards

Three straight hole wins for Mikko Ilonen gives him the lead for the first time in the match on No. 7. It was Bubba Watson's third straight bogeys. Ilonen has remained consistent with pars.

THRU 7: Ilonen, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 6: Par 3, 185 yards

Back-to-back bogeys for Bubba Watson let Mikko Ilonen right back into this match at the par-3. This is the Finland's native first Match Play Championship.

THRU 6: All square

• • •

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 536 yards

Mikko Ilonen wins his first hole of the match against Bubba Watson. Watson makes his first bogey in 44 holes dating back to the 15th hole during the second round of the Northern Trust Open.

THRU 5: Watson, 1 up.

• • •

Hole No. 4: Par 4, 393 yards

A costly mistake for Mikko Ilonen on the fourth. He makes a double bogey, while Bubba Watson makes an easy par to take a 2-up lead.

THRU 4: Watson, 2 up

• • •

Hole No. 2: Par 5, 574 yards

A birdie on the par-5 for the long-hitting Watson gives him a 1-up advantage over the 57th-ranked player in the world, Ilonen.

THRU 2: Watson, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 460 yards

Each player makes a par on the first hole and it remains all square thru one. Watson may be the hottest player coming into the Match Play Championship with a victory last week at the Northern Trust Open. Ilonen's best finish on the European Tour came at the Qatar Masters with a runner-up finish. His last win came at the Nordea Masters last season.

THRU 1: All square

• • •

Bubba Watson

  • OWGR Rank: 14
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 8
  • 2014 PGA Tour results: T-31, CIMB Classic; T-8, WGC-HSBC Champions; T-23, Farmers Insurance Open; T-2, Waste Management Phoenix Open; Won, Northern Trust Open
  • Match Play results (since 2009): T-9 (2013); T-17 (2012); 4th (2011)
  • Comments: It's rare for a player to win in consecutive weeks, but Watson is a creative bomber and is a birdie machine. Is he getting hot at the right time? His first win since 2012 verifies that.

• • •

Mikko Ilonen

  • OWGR Rank: 57
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 104
  • 2014 PGA Tour results: T-21, HSBC Champions
  • Match Play results (since 2009): None
  • Comments: This will be Llonen's first Match Play, so expectations shouldn't be very high for the Finland native.

• • •

Match Play preview coverage

Hole-by-hole preview of Dove Mountain, Match Play host course

The Golf Club at Dove Mountain is certainly fun to watch from home. And with match play, just about anything can happen, especially on this dramatic, rugged Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountain Range just north of Tucson, Ariz. See photos and a strategic description of all 18 holes.

Match Play cheat sheet: Player-by-player breakdowns

Henrik Stenson will enter this week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship as the top seed, a year after his won the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai. Meanwhile, last year's champ Matt Kuchar is coming off his first missed cut in nearly 18 months as 61 of the top 67 players in the world will play at Dove Mountain. Here's a look at each player in the field.

B. Watson carries confidence into WGC Match Play

Bubba Golf is back in vogue. Bomb it, find it, wedge it, putt it. That has worked so well lately that Bubba Watson finds himself high on the current Hot Golfer List, having won (Northern Trust Open on Sunday) and finished second (Waste Management Phoenix Open) in his last two PGA Tour starts. Hence, Watson comes to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship as a scary draw, if there is such a thing in the unpredictable culture of 18-hole match play.

Expert picks: No clear favorite at WGC Match Play

The field is stacked and this is truly the "anything-can-happen" tournament of the year, as match play seems to even the playing field in golf. With Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott taking the WGC-Accenture Match Play off, a bit of intrigue might be lost, but the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter should provide some drama worth watching.

R.McIlroy tops Match Play odds; D. Johnson, J. Day close

Rory McIlroy tops the list of odds to win this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, with Dustin Johnson and Jason Day not far behind. McIlroy is listed at 12/1 to win the tournament, with Johnson and Day at 15/1.

I. Poulter's early start reminiscent of year it snowed

Ian Poulter will have a little bit of experience on his side Wednesday, with another early-morning tee time in the this World Golf Championship. Although afternoon temperatures are predicted to be in the 80s, the early-morning groups will probably start out in sub-50 weather, so if there is cold anywhere, Poulter's match against Rickie Fowler will have it. And it’s an intriguing match right out of the gates, as Poulter clearly has a fondness for this championship.

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