Jason Day is 11-3 all-time in Match Play, so maybe there’s something to be said for his mind games. The Australian has long employed subtle gamesmanship on the course in an attempt to get inside his opponent’s head.
Take the walk.
“I’m always walking in front,” Day said after Friday’s 3-and-1 win over George Coetzee. “It’s very rare that I see the other guy in front of me. Just to tell him that I’m there. I’m sticking around.”
The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship bills itself as “golf’s global summit.” This year, it’s right. The remaining eight golfers hail from five different countries:
- Australia (Day)
- France (Victor Dubuisson)
- Northern Ireland (Graeme McDowell)
- South Africa (Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen)
- United States (ex UA Wildcat Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth).
Two international players — the winner of the Oosthuizen-Day match and the McDowell-Dubuisson match — are assured spots in the tournament’s final four.
Good day for the ’dogs
Just three of Friday’s eight matches were won by the favorites, making this year’s round the third-bloodiest in the 15-year history of Match Play. Just one of eight matches was won by a top seed in 2006, and two of eight higher seeds won in 2001. The highest-ranked player to survive Friday was Day, who is ranked No. 2 in the Bobby Jones bracket and No. 8 overall. Fowler, No. 14 in the Ben Hogan Bracket and No. 53 overall, is the lowest seed.
A look at today’s matchups, with all-time Match Play records in parentheses:
- Day (11-3) vs. Oosthuizen (5-4)
- Furyk (14-13) vs. Fowler (5-3)
- Els (14-13) vs. Spieth (3-0)
- McDowell (9-7) vs. Dubuisson (3-0)
Picking winners, Part II
Late rounds typically favor the more rested golfer. Here’s a look at how many holes each golfer has played through three rounds:
France’s Dubuisson has his own Twitter page, though he’s posted just 40 or so times since joining.
It’s a shame, because we love his handle: @vdubush, a clever play on his name’s origins. Dubuisson means “from the bush” in French.
Golf fans were treated to the mildest day of the week on Friday, with temperatures hovering in the upper 70s for most of the afternoon. Expect things to get a bit warmer today: Forecasts are for a high of 83 and low of 47. And with the four groups teeing off between 10 a.m. and noon, fans are almost assured of warm weather.
The players like it, too.
“It’s a great spot, perfect weather,” Spieth said. “It’s hard not to like it. It’s hard not to like PGA Tour golf courses.”
Tweet of the Day
“Great match play experience this week. Furyk was so clutch down the stretch today, I loved every minute of it! Next up...Doral” — Harris English (@Harris_English), following Friday’s loss to Jim Furyk
The big number
12,241 Steps taken by Star photographer Mike Christy on Friday as he followed Fowler’s match with Sergio Garcia. That amounts to 5.79 miles, all while carrying about 40 pounds of gear.
Another big number:
29’9” Distance on Furyk’s birdie chip on hole No. 16.
He said it:
“He’s a smiling assassin.”
— Spieth, about Matt Kuchar. And why not? Kuchar was 17-3 in Match Play before Friday’s loss to Spieth.
Saturday's tee times
|Tee time||Player (seed)||Player (seed)|
|10:05 a.m.||Louis Ooshtuizen (32)||Jason Day (8)|
|10:20 a.m.||Jim Furyk (20)||Rickie Fowler (53)|
|11:45 a.m.||Ernie Els (31)||Jordan Spieth (10)|
|Noon||Graeme McDowell (14)||Victor Dubuisson (27)|