It's Woods against Cink over 36 holes
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2008 Accenture Match Play Championship | Semi-Finals | 24 Feb 2008
The quarter and semi finals at the World Golf Championship Accenture Match Play were completed today and in tomorrow’s final, Tiger Woods, the only man to win the title more than once, will look to secure it for the third time when he faces Stewart Cink over 36 holes.
In this morning’s quarter final, Woods defeated K.J. Choi in a match that was evenly matched through the front nine before Woods birdied four of the next seven holes to end the match at the 16th – 3 & 2 and he moved on to face the defending champion, Henrik Stenson.
Stenson took on Woody Austin and fell behind early when he bogeyed the 5th and Austin birdied the 6th. Consecutive birdies in his next five holes however had the Swede three up and although Austin rallied back late in the match, Stenson closed it out with a birdie at the last to win two up.
After a birdie at the first, Justin Leonard was never behind in his match against Singh in fact moving to three up after a birdie at the 11th. The Fijian fought his way back and when they reached the 18th tee the match was all square after Singh had birdied from 14 feet at the 17th. Both had birdie chances at the last but it was Leonard who made his from ten feet and he was into the semis against Stewart Cink.
Cink was never headed in his match against Cabrera after being conceded the first hole. He made the turn at 1 up but with birdies at the 10th, 11th, 12th 14th and 16th he had done enough to end Cabrera’s great run 3&2.
In the afternoon’s semi-finals, Woods always had the edge but Stenson clung to him throughout and when the Swede holed from 14 feet at the 16th the match was square.
Stenson made a crucial mistake when he missed the fairway at the reachable par five 17th and could only lay up well short with his second. Woods smashed his drive along the right side of the fairway and with 255 yards to the front edge he was in the go zone. Woods pulled his second into the left greenside trap but was able to get up and down for birdie from 12 feet and had edged ahead again as they headed to the last.
In his final throw of the dice, Stenson missed the green at the 18th and that was it.
In the match between Cink and Leonard, Cink was magnificent early and through eight holes he was four up in a stretch of golf which saw him eagle the reachable par four 7th and make the turn in a brilliant seven under 29. The momentum slowed over the final nine but Cink had done more than enough and when was conceded a birdie at the 16th it was all over.
Woods plays Cink for the title tomorrow and his 7th win in his last eight starts on the PGA Tour.
In the 18 hole semi-final Leonard will play Stenson in what is a consolation match but the US$100,000 difference between third and fourth might add a little spice.