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2013 World Golf Championship

Tournament Preview

The uniquely-formatted World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship kicked off on Wednesday, with top players from around the world matched in head-to-head competition across several brackets named for some of the giants of the game.

There are 32 first-round matches scheduled for the tournament, held at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona.

A staple of the PGA Tour since 1999, the tournaments has had several top flight winners, most notably American legend Tiger Woods, who has won the title three times, most recently in 2008.

Last year's champion was Hunter Mahan, who upset highly-ranked Rory McIlroy 2 and 1.

Woods is active in the second-to-last match of the first round, taking on fellow American Charles Howelll III, an old rival of Woods from the amateur circuit. Although he hasn't won a major tournament in some time, Woods is one of the ferocious competitors in the world when it comes to match play, sporting a 33-9 overall reocrd.

McIlroy too has a fun first match-up. The tournament's No. 1 overall seed takes a 10-4 match play record against Irleand's Shane Lowry, who has never played match on the PGA tour. Lowry hopes to make it two straight years in which the No. 64 seed has eliminated the No. 1 seed after ageless Ernie Els did just that to Luke Donald in 2012.

The tournament continues through Sunday.

Wednesday, 02/20/13

There should have been 16 winners at the end of the Wednesday of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship on Wednesday.

Instead there was only one .. Mother Nature.

The weather took center stage at the PGA event on Wednesday, with a snowstorm blasting its way into Dove Mountain, Arizona and leaving behind two inches of snow before a single match could be completed.

The first round of the tournament is scheduled to restart at 8:30 a.m. Local time Thursday, with 10 matches which had not begun yet on Wednesday up first.

Tournament officials believe that if the weather cooperates the rest of the weekend, the event will still wrap up on Sunday as planned.

It was a truly bizarre turn of events, particularly given that temperatures had been in the 70s on Tuesday, only to plummet over the course of a few hours.

Tour officials recollected that the last tournament to have a snow delay also took place in Arizona, in Tucson during the mid 1990s.

Thursday, 02/21/2013

Wednesday's snow storm seemed to shake up the air at the World Golf Championships-Aceenture Match Play Championship on Thursday, as the top two seeds - Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and the US' Tiger Woods both lost in their first-round matches.

McIlroy fell to Ireland's Shane Lowry, who had often competed against the world's No. 1 player in youth golf in the United Kingdom. Lowry turned on the pressure on the back nine to take the victory.

Joining McIlroy at the upset table was Woods, who fell to Charles Howelll III, the second time in the past three years that Woods has gone out in the first round.

Neither player made a bogey during the round, but Howell had four birdies to Woods' two to secure the win.

The most exciting match of the day might have been Cabrera Bello's victory over Lee Westwood, which took 19 holes. Despite being ranked 60th in the world to Westwood's No. 8, Bello overcame bogeys on three of the first five holes to rally to the win.

Friday, 02/22/2013

The biggest names in golf might have been eliminated early from the early rounds of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, but the defending champion is still hanging around.

No. 6 seed Hunter Mahan of the US edged South Africa's Richard Sterne 4 and 3 on Friday to advance to the round of 16. Mahan has won 10 of his last 11 matches at the course.

Meanwhile, the best pairing of the day came from 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell and Sweden's Alexander Noren. Neither man ever led by more than a stroke before McDowell finally won on the 20th hole.

McDowell's seven-foot birdie on the 20th hole was the clincher.

Other winners on the day included Webb Simpson, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Shane Lowry, Fredrik Jacobson, Jason Day, Robert Garrigus, Martin Kaymer, Scott Piercy, Tim Clark, Nicolas Colsaerts and Ian Poulter

Saturday, 02/23/2013

It's Hunter Mahan's world, the rest of us are just living in it, at least that's the sentiment following Saturday's quarterfinals at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Mahan, the defending champion, fought past 2012 US Open champion Webb Simpson to reach the semifinals as he attempts to become just the second man (following Tiger Woods) to repeat as the tournament's champion.
Not only has Mahan not lost a match at the course in two years, but he's gone 151 straight holes without trailing in a match. Simpson was nearly a match for Mahan, but he missed a 10-foot par putt on the 16th hole, his first bogey of the day, and Mahan hit his par shot to take the lead for good.
Also advancing to the semifinals was Ian Poulter, a gaudy 19-3-2 in match play over the past four years, who defeated top flight opponent Steve Stricker. Poulter will square off against Mahan on Sunday in one semifinal, while Matt Kuchar takes on Jason Day in the other.

Sunday, 02/24/2013

The everyman of the PGA tour had his day in the sun on Sunday, as Matt Kuchar knocked off defending champion Hunter Mahan to emerge victorious at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Kuchar, even a dark horse while making the semifinals on Saturday, broke Mahan's streak of not trailing that had stretched to 169 holes over 11 matches when he won the fourth hole with a par as Mahan bogeyed.
His 2 and 1 victory, which he locked up on the 17th green when Mahan went from a bunker to a spot under a bush, elevates Kuchar to No. 2 in the latest FedExCup standings.
Amazingly, Kuchar went the entire tournament without needing to play an 18th hole. The lanky 34-year-old from Winter Park, Florida, won for just the fifth time in his career on tour, but it's his fourth victory since October of 2009.
Kuchar advanced to the finals by edging Australia's Jason Day 4 and 3 in the semifinals. Mahan made the final by holding off Ian Poulter 4 and 3, giving the Englishman a devastating mental defeat when he chipped in a birdie on the 12th hole from some 70 feet.
With the win, Kuchar receives $1.5 million and jumps to No. 8 in the world rankings.
Mahan was seeking to join Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back champions. In the consolation match, Day defeated Poulter.

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