WGC - Accenture Match Play - Round Two

Matt Fargo | Feb 21, 2013 | ARCHIVE

Round 1 certainly did not go as planned, for me and for the tournament. A snow delay took out most of the day on Wednesday and then a lengthy delay Thursday morning meant just the first round would only be completed with no second round matches starting until Friday. The delay though halted play in Round 1 with two matches unable to finish. The tournament will try and get back on the scheduled time but not until Saturday when Round 3 and Round 4 will be played back-to-back.

There was not a ton of drama early on. Sergio Garcia won in 20 holes in Match 1 but after that, 11 of the next 13 matches didn't make it past #17 with seven of those decided even before that. The big early upset was Russell Henley defeating Charl Schwartzel 1 up in Match 5. Schwartzel busted a lot of brackets as he was playing arguably the best of anyone in the field but he was 2 down after two, eventually got it back to AS after 11 but then lost the next two holes and could not recover.

The favorites won nine of the first 16 matches which is about the average in this event. It was the second half of the first round matches where the real excitement and drama took place though, namely the number one seeds. Louis Oosthuizen held off Richie Ramsay 2 and 1 but Luke Donald was in a dogfight with Marcel Siem as he was up two holes after the front then lost three straight to fall down one but birdied #13 to get it back to AS. He eventually won with a birdie on 18.

The same fortunes cannot be said about the other number one seeds and the two top ranked players in the world. Rory McIlroy, the overall number one seed, lost to fellow countryman Shane Lowry 1 up. He opened up a two-hole lead after four holes but he lost five holes in an eight-hole stretch and never caught back up, eventually losing on 18. Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III had one of the best matches of the day with no lead greater than one hole until CHIII went two up after #16 and closed Woods out on #17.

It was the first time since 2002 when the top two seeds were eliminated after the first round.

Listed are five Second Round Matchup Best Bets (all for 2 Units):

Match 33: Nicolas Colsaerts +120 over Justin Rose

Colsaerts took advantage of poor play from Bill Haas on Wednesday to take a 3 up lead through eight holes before play was suspended. He parred all eight holes Thursday and easily won 5 and 4. He lost in the first round here last year but won the Volvo Match Play last season. Rose had trouble keeping the lead against K.J. Choi but snuck out a 2 and 1 win. He has advanced past the second round only once in seven previous appearances.

Match 34: Matt Kuchar -105 over Sergio Garcia

Sergio is a great match play player but he had to grind one out Friday against Thongchai Jaidee as his competitor won two of the last three holes to force extra holes but he eventually won after 20 holes. Matt Kuchar had a stress free first round match as it was back and forth early but he won 7, 9,10 and 11 to win going away. Kuchar is now 10-3 in this event and looks to keep the momentum rolling from his run into the semis last year.

Match 35: Tim Clark -110 over Thorbjorn Olesen

Clark pulled away from Adam Scott with wins on #16 and #17 to take the match 2 and 1. Scott missed a very makeable putt on #17 that would have sent the match to the final hole. Clark is a veteran in this event that could make some noise. Olesen defeated Jamie Donaldson 3 and 2 but not a lot can be taken from that as both were rookies coming in. Olesen finished two over through 16 holes so he certainly did not play well.

Match 41: Robert Garrigus +120 over Louis Oosthuizen

I was very impressed with Garrigus as he took out Branden Grace 4 and 3. He won the first three holes, built a five-hole lead and had no pressure on him thanks to six birdies. Now he goes from big favorite to underdog. Oosthuizen won 2 and 1 over Richie Ramsay but it wasn't easy as he was down 2 after #11 before winning four straight holes to close it out. It was more of a Ramsay loss than an Oosthuizen win though.

Match 48: Peter Hanson +125 over Webb Simpson

Simpson won 5 and 4 over David Lynn but he didn't play particularly well. Lynn shot a two over 38 on the front and was four over through #13 before conceding. Simpson had five birdies but also had three bogeys. Hanson was two down at the turn but won five of the first six holes on the back to win 3 and 2 over Thomas Bjorn. Hanson is now 4-1 his last five matches here.