English def. Westwood 5 & 3 in WGC Match Play
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
PHOTOS: WGC Match Play 2014
Check out photos from the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
No. 8 Ben Hogan bracket seed Lee Westwood falls behind at the first hole against No. 9 seed Harris English in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play. The match goes surprisingly far in English's favor from there as the American takes a commanding lead at the turn, going on to win easily.
We'll keep you posted on the highlights of the Westwood vs. English match right here – and scroll down for our preview coverage.
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Hole No. 15: Par 4, 343 yards
With one last birdie for the day, English tacks an exclamation point on a sizeable victory over Westwood – the former Georgia Bulldog moves on to face Rory McIlroy tomorrow.
ENGLISH WINS, 5 & 3
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Hole No. 14: Par 4, 449 yards
A long birdie putt from Westwood here gives him his first win of the day. Can it spark a huge comeback, or will it fail to be enough? He and English will head to the 15th to find out.
THRU 14 HOLES: English, 4 up
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Hole No. 11: Par 5, 659 yards
The good news keeps coming for English, with a birdie at No. 11 building his lead to five holes with seven to play. Hard to see Westwood coming back from this one, but it ain't over until it's over.
THRU 11 HOLES: English, 5 up
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Hole No. 9: Par 4, 476 yards
On paper, these two should be evenly matched – but the front nine has belonged to English. After halves with pars at the seventh and birdies at the eighth, a Westwood bogey gives the American a huge margin as they make the turn.
THRU NINE HOLES: English, 4 up
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Hole No. 6: Par 3, 185 yards
After three straight holes halved with pars, English steps up with a birdie to push his lead to three over Westwood in the early going. Westwood's got some work to do if he's to avoid a second-straight exit after one round.
THRU SIX HOLES: English, 3 up
PHOTOS: WGC-Accenture Match Play, Tuesday practice
See the action -- and interactions -- of Tuesday practice for the PGA Tour's 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play as well as some desert scenery at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
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Hole No. 2: Par 5, 574 yards
Westwood concedes another hole, his second loss in a row to start the match, to deepen his deficit. He steadies himself a bit as he and English follow with pars at the third for a halve.
THRU 3 HOLES: English, 2 up
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Hole No. 1: Par 4, 460 yards
A birdie out of the gate puts English in front to start this match. These adjacent seeds are separated by just two rankings in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
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- OWGR Rank: 32
- Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 20
- 2014 PGA Tour results: T-55, WGC-HSBC Champions; T-47, Farmers Insurance Open; MC, Waste Management Phoenix Open; T-20, Northern Trust Open
- Match Play results (since 2009): T-33 (2013); 4th (2012); T-17 (2011); T-17 (2010); T-17 (2009)
- Comments: Outside of last year, Westwood seems to be good for at least a win in the opening round. He seems to be heading back to the "old Lee" after dumping Sean Foley at the beginning of the year. Still don't know if that is a good thing or not, we'll see more this week.
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- OWGR Rank: 39
- Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 18
- 2014 PGA Tour results: T-40, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open; T-7, CIMB Classic; T-27, McGladrey Classic; won, OHL Classic at Mayakoba; T-11, Hyundai Tournament of Champions; fourth, Sony Open in Hawaii; T-33, Humana Challenge; ninth, Waste Management Open; T-10, Northern Trust Open
- Match Play results (since 2009): None
- Comments: English is one of the hottest players on Tour right now with a victory and five other finishes of T-11 or better this season.
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Match Play preview coverage
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.