Citizen Staff Writer
Tiger is gone, so is Boo Weekley with all his hilarity. Vijay Singh? He blew it on the last hole Thursday.
Now it’s up to golfers such as ex-UA Wildcat Jim Furyk to keep interest high in the Accenture Match Play Championship as the event heads to its third round Friday.
Gentleman Jim has been steady the past two days and never was in trouble Thursday in an easy 4 and 2 victory against Germany’s Martin Kaymer.
“It’s never easy,” insisted Furyk. “I got off to a quick start (today). I birdied three of the first five. The one hole I bogeyed in there, so did he.”
Just one more birdie followed, plus an eagle on No. 13, to offset a couple of bogeys for the round. But Furyk was always in control.
Furyk made his 2009 debut Wednesday and will be in the third round of Match Play for the first time since 2003.
The battle, he says, will be mental.
“(Match play) is a lot more stress,” he said. “Every hole you’re jockeying for position, trying to win a hole or just trying to stay in it and halve it. I think there’s a lot more stress and a lot more pressure in this format.”
He’s got the touch
Geoff Ogilvy went 19 holes to beat Shingo Katayama, a win that gives notice to how Match Play might proceed the next three days.
Ogilvy has that “Match Play touch,” as he won the event in 2006 and was runner-up here in 2007.
“It was a bit of substandard ball-striking day,” he said. “I hit a lot of drives into the desert. I hit some good shots the last few holes when I needed to. I got lucky when he bogeyed the 18th (to tie it), then he hit the junk on the 19th.”
His opponent Friday, Camilo Villegas, had seven birdies Thursday in a 5 and 4 win over Miguel Jimenez.
Ogilvy is hoping karma will play tricks Friday.
“Hopefully, it’s the day I come out and I’m playing well and maybe he doesn’t, maybe he’s due for a bad one.”
A familiar foe
Rest for the mind and body is a formula for veteran Stewart Cink, last year’s runner-up.
“I need to conserve my energy,” he said. “I know that from last year.”
Cink will meet Phil Mickelson, a familiar face, on Friday, although the two have never met in match play.
“Obviously with his play and what he’s done. . . . He has the ability to play really bad for a while and then (play) as well as anybody in the world,” Cink said. “So who knows what’s going to happen?”