Aussie challenge extinguished in Arizona
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2010 Accenture Match Play Championship | Matchplay Round Two | 19 Feb 2010
It has been a disappointing week for the small Australian contingent at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson in Arizona with all four eliminated by the end of round two today.
Having blitzed Alexander Noren in round one, Geoff Ogilvy appeared as if he might be on track to match Tiger Woods’s three wins in the event but Camilo Villegas put that to a halt today. The Colombian was never behind in his match and although it was closely fought affair until late in the round, and eagle at the 13th and birdies at the 15th and 16th saw him run out the winner 2 & 1.
Adam Scott played well on day one when securing a comfortable win over Masters Champion Angel Cabrera but although he was up early in his second round match against England’s Ian Poulter, Poulter’s strong finish saw him run out the winner 2 & 1.
Robert Allenby’s less than impressive record in this event continued today when he was beaten in round two by England’s Luke Donald. Allenby was down early after Donald birdied the 3rd, 4th and 5th holes and never recovered eventually being trounced 6 & 5. Allenby had beaten in Sweden’s Peter Hanson on day one but one over par is seldom going to get the job done at this level and his chance of further progress was gone.
Allenby has played in nine of the eleven stagings of this event which is an achievement in itself, but he has only twice progressed past round two, his best when reaching the quarter finals in 2005.
Michael Sim was beaten on day one by Ryo Ishikawa although he was certainly not disgraced, finishing his 18 holes at 4 under when losing 2 down to the Japanese whiz-kid.
The feature of the tournament to date has been the departure of the all four of the leading seeds, opening the door for an upset at week’s end.
At this level, and over the sprint distance of 18 holes, anyone player in this field is capable of beating another irrespective of ranking and the opening two days of the event have further confirmed such.
Paul Casey is the highest world ranked player remaining in the field although Stewart Cink and Luke Donald are looming as possible finalists.