Mahan def. Sterne 2 up in WGC Match Play
PHOTOS: WGC-Accenture Match Play, Rd. 2
See the action and emotion (and some desert scenery) from Thursday's second round of the PGA Tour's 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
No. 8 Sam Snead bracket seed Hunter Mahan fell behind No. 16 Richard Sterne early Thursday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play – and although he didn't lead until the 17th hole, eked out a win late to advance.
- See our live Match Play leaderboard right here.
- See a hole-by-hole review of Dove Mountain right here.
Recap the highlights of the Mahan vs. Sterne match right here – and scroll down for our preview coverage.
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Hole No. 18: Par 4, 480 yards
With three wins in the last four holes – all via birdies – Mahan pours it on late in pulling out a comeback win that didn't see him lead until the last two. It leaves Sterne still seeking his first PGA Tour win.
MAHAN WINS, 2 UP
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Hole No. 17: Par 4, 482 yards
After trading pars at the 16th, Sterne bogeys the penultimate hole – it's a bad time for the bogey as it gives Mahan his first lead of the day as they head to the last.
THRU 17 HOLES: Mahan, 1 up
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Hole No. 15: Par 4, 343 yards
Mahan birdies for his first hole won since the turn – squaring up this match with three holes to play. It's the second day in a row he's won the 15th, and he heads to the 16th where he also won yesterday.
THRU 15 HOLES: All Square
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Hole No. 12: Par 3, 219 yards
After both players go par-birdie at the 10th and 11th, another birdie from Sterne gives the South African his first hole won since No. 3 as he takes the lead again.
THRU 12 HOLES: Sterne, 1 up
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Hole No. 9: Par 4, 476 yards
Sterne's first bogey of the day comes at the turn and gives Mahan a win he needed to square the match. They'll start over at the 10th tee, in effect.
THRU NINE HOLES: All Square
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Hole No. 8: Par 5, 576 yards
Mahan's first birdie of the day narrows his deficit as the match approaches the turn. Mahan trailed yesterday as well in his win over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, so we'll see if he can repeat the come-from-behind form.
THRU EIGHT HOLES: Sterne, 1 up
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Hole No. 3: Par 3, 208 yards
Back-to-back birdies now lift Sterne to a two-hole advantage. Sterne finished 28th in December's Volvo Golf Champions on European Tour, but hasn't been in the top 50 in three events since. He's got his game going well so far this week, nonetheless.
THRU THREE HOLES: Sterne, 2 up
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Hole No. 2: Par 5, 574 yards
With a birdie, the underdog Sterne grabs an early lead over Mahan. Can he knock off two big Tour names in a row? Here's a look at how he won the Joburg Open about a year ago.
THRU TWO HOLES: Sterne, 1 up
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Hole No. 1: Par 4, 460 yards
Pars lead to a halved first hole, the only match so far in the Snead bracket to start that way. The Golfweek/Sagarin rankings have Mahan more than 100 spots ahead of Sterne, but a similar disadvantage on paper didn't matter in yesterday's upset of No. 1 seed Zach Johnson.
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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.
- OWGR Rank: 33
- Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 21
- 2014 PGA Tour results: T-47, Farmers Insurance Open; T-4, Waste Management Phoenix Open; 6th, AT&T Pebble Beach; T-52, Northern Trust Open
- Match Play results (since 2009): 2nd (2013); Won (2012); T-9 (2011); T-33 (2010); T-17 (2009)
- Comments: Mahan might be in the middle of the field, but should be treated as a favorite, shown by a victory and a runner-up the past two years. He's also shown well as of late as he tries to make a run at the Ryder Cup squad. Mahan advanced with a 3 & 2 win over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in the first round.
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- OWGR Rank: 65
- Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 127
- 2014 PGA Tour results: T-39, HSBC Champions
- Match Play results (since 2009): T-17 (2013); T-33 (2009)
- Comments: This will be the South African's fourth Match Play, but just his second in the last four years. Sterne defeated No. 1 Zach Johnson 5 and 4 in the tournament's biggest first-round upset.
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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Wednesday's first-round coverage
There are no guarantees in golf, if we hadn’t known that before. Nothing is certain, particularly in 18-hole match play, even when you are 3 down with three holes left and your opponent sends an approach shot toward the pin. That was Graeme McDowell’s predicament in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play.
Thirty-two matches, 64 players, nearly 10 hours of golf – and dozens of reasons why it's the best day of the year for pure PGA Tour fun, non-major category. But with so much going on, no time to waste. Here are 5 Things to know from Day 1 of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
And for your morning breakfast, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship served up a trio of surprises. Rickie Fowler beating Ian Poulter and Jonas Blixt eliminating Keegan Bradley? No argument there. But Bubba Watson ousting Mikko Ilonen? A surprise? If you go by stature in the game, resumes and seedings – Watson was 11th, Ilonen 54th – it surely wasn’t, but the way things turned in the American’s favor certainly was.
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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.
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.