Match Play: Hi-YA! Piercy takes down Donald

35th seed makes easy work of 2011 champ with 7-and-6 victory
2013-02-23T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:56:28Z Match Play: Hi-YA! Piercy takes down DonaldPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Piercy Golf Inc., has trademarked the phrase, hoping one day to plaster it on T-shirts, caps and belts.

Scott Piercy wears the phrase on the back of his golf cap, and, on Twitter, places hashtags in front of it. His website claims it to be a way of life as much as a catchphrase.

"It's some fun stuff that my buddies did," Piercy said. "Hi-YA!"

Hi-YA - what little boys say when they karate chop.

"It's a fun thing," he said, "rather than a regular golf clap."

On Friday, the Las Vegan chopped his way through No. 1 seed Luke Donald, 7 and 6, in the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

In the history of the event, only five matches have ended sooner than Piercy's victory, which ended with a Hole 12 deathblow.

"You just keep hitting shots and you play smart and you keep leaning on him," Piercy said. "You keep making him make birdies to beat you.

"Try to make some birdies of your own."

Piercy birdied five of his first nine holes, carding a 30 on the front nine - one off his personal best - and a 41 through 12.

He made the shot of the tournament, holing a 228-yard 4-iron into the wind on No. 5.

"You never expect those to go in," Piercy said.

Likewise, few thought the 34-year-old could slay the tournament's No. 3 overall player.

The disparity in popularity was apparent on the course Friday.

On the front of the Brit's blue bag was a logo from Royal Bank, which last year earned $7.5 billion.

On the front of Piercy's scarlet-and-black Titleist bag was the logo of his alma mater, San Diego State. The interlocking "SD" with a spear was the result of Piercy's loyalty to the team's golf coach, but also the fact the spot isn't exactly attractive sponsorship real estate for the sport's unknowns.

"I actually feel really relaxed out there," Piercy said. "Me and Luke's games are a lot different, and I feel like if I get things going, I've got a good chance of beating him.

"I played well, and he was off a little bit."

Donald hit his first drive off No. 1 into the desert scrub. On No. 3, his tee shot landed in a green-side bunker.

Piercy - who uses a baseball-style grip, where the grip rests across his hands length-wise -won the first three holes against Donald.

The 2011 Match Play champion said he "over-read" putts all day.

"He was making it tough on me," Donald said. "I probably wasn't making it tough enough on him. I didn't drive it well enough.

"This is a course where there's some tee shots just on the edge, some of these carries. If I'm not driving it well, I'm struggling on this course."

Piercy's greatest career moment came in match play.

In June 2007, he birdied five of his last seven holes to win "The Ultimate Game" at the Wynn Golf and Country Club in his hometown.

His grand prize: $2 million.

"Worked out good for me there," he said.

He might be gaining a reputation for playing his best in 1-on-1 situations.

"I think it fits my golf game," he said. "My personality, I want to beat you anyway. I think I'm better than you.

"To be out here, you have to think you're good. And even if you're playing Luke, who's a great player, you've gotta think you're better than him. Because if you don't think it, you're not going to do it."

Since turning pro 12 years ago, Piercy has two PGA Tour wins: the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open and the 2012 RBC Canadian Open.

He finished the Ontario event last July with a 17-under-par 263, tying the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA Tour.

"My career has been building blocks, steps," he said

He can take the next step today by chopping down - Hi-YA! - Steve Stricker in Round 3 - and, if then, either Tim Clark or Ian Poulter in the quarterfinals.

"I think anybody can beat anybody, so that doesn't surprise me that he beat Luke," Stricker said. "But 7 and 6 surprises me.

"Was he 7-under through 12, did I hear? Maybe he used them all up today."

Contact reporter Patrick Finley at pfinley@azstarnet.com or 573-4145. On Twitter @PatrickFinley.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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