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Americans go 13-4 in first round of matches

Citizen Staff Writer



Golfers aren’t competing for their countries at the Accenture Match Play Championship, but it was easy to notice a certain U.S. flavor on Wednesday.

From Tiger Woods to Pat Perez, Phil Mickelson to Boo Weekley, it was a good day for the Americans, who won 13 of 17 first-round matches.

Some of the non-Tiger pre-tournament buzz centered on the strong international presence in the 64-player field.

“Not a lot of Americans in the field, to tell you the truth,” said one of those Americans, Steve Stricker.

They were scattered all over the bracket, though, and there was only one U.S. vs. U.S. match Wednesday. Stricker beat Dustin Johnson 2 and 1.

By the seedings, U.S. players should have gone 10-7 on Wednesday, so they ended up winning three more matches than expected.

Upsets included No. 16 seed Perez over No. 1 Padraig Harrington 1 up; No. 15 Davis Love III over No. 2 Henrik Stenson on the 21st hole, and No. 13 Weekley over No. 4 Justin Rose 1 up.

The highest-rated U.S. player to fall was No. 3 seed Kenny Perry, who lost 2 and 1 to 14th seeded Matthew Goggin of Australia.

If anybody is going to challenge Woods for fan popularity this week, it’s another American – Anthony Kim, 22. But Tiger is not on his mind – yet. The two could meet – but not until the final.

“I’m really not too concerned about what Tiger’s doing right now,” Kim said, conscious of not offending the No. 1 player.

“I mean, I’m sure he’s going to play great. He always does.”


When: Through Sunday

Where: Marana’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Course, Dove Mountain

Tickets: $45. Available at Welcome Center (take bus from parking lot) at Tangerine Road and I-10

Purse: $8.5 million (winner gets $1.35 million)


> Irish phenom may face Tiger. 4C

> Mickelson, Furyk survive. 5C

> Kim rests up after early win. 5C

> Match Play bracket,map, 5C

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