After his 3 and 1 victory, Garrigus moved on to face Matt Kucher in the Elite Eight. Unfortunately for Garrigus, he was never able to gain any momentum and fell 3 and 2. Kucher won six holes, while Garrigus won just three in the quarterfinals.
Former NGA TOUR winner Scott Piercy made it to the Round of 16 as well, but a late charge by veteran Steve Striker bounced Piercy from the bracket. Piercy held a 1-up lead on No. 16, but Stricker birdied the last two holes to win 1 up.
Fellow NGA TOUR winner Bubba Watson also made it to the Sweet Sixteen, but he, too, was unable to advance to the quarterfinals. Playing Jason Day, Watson found himself trailing 2 down after six holes. After finding the desert on No. 15, Watson conceded the match and was credited with a 4 and 3 loss.
Three NGAers in Sweet Sixteen at WGC-Match Play
Marana, Ariz. – February 23, 2013 – Three former NGA TOUR players moved into the third round of the Accenture WGC-Match Play event at the Dove Club at Dove Mountain on Friday.
Former NGA TOUR winner Scott Piercy had the shortest match of the day, ousting former world No. 1 Luke Donald 7 and 6. Piercy took advantage of Donald’s double bogey and never looked back. The former San Diego State golfer was 3 up through four holes before holing a shot from 228 yards for an eagle at the fifth hole to go 4 up.
Piercy won the eighth and ninth with birdies and his final birdie ended the match at the 12th hole. Piercy hit 7 of 9 fairways, 11 of 12 greens in regulation and used just 17 putts to dominate Donald. Piercy will play Steve Stricker in the third round of the Snead bracket.
Former NGA TOUR player Robert Garrigus didn’t have the same showing Piercy did, but the big hitter didn’t have too much trouble with Louis Oosthuizen, ousting the top seed in the Hogan bracket 3 and 2.
The match was all square through eighth holes, but Garrigus took control near the turn, playing his final eight holes without a bogey while shooting 4 under. Garrigus plays Fredrik Jacobson in the third round of the Hogan bracket.
Former NGA TOUR winner Bubba Watson also advanced to the Sweet Sixteen on Friday, but it took extra holes for the long-hitting lefty to defeat 1992 NGA TOUR member Jim Furyk in the second round.
Watson built a 3-up advantage through 10 holes, but Furyk won three of the next four holes with a 16-footer for birdie and two pars to even the match on No. 14. A birdie at the 15th hole put Watson up again but Furyk made a last-ditch 5-footer at the 18th hole to send the match into sudden death. After missing the green on the 22nd hole, Furyk was unable to get up and down, giving Watson the victory.
Watson will play Jason Day, who beat NGA TOUR alum Russell Henley in 19 holes, in the third round.
Second Round Update: Five NGAers advance in WGC-Match Play
Marana, Ariz. – February 22, 2013 – A little over a year ago, Russell Henley was working hard on his game on the NGA TOUR’s Bridgestone Winter Series. Evidently, the UGA grad found what he was looking for on the No. 1-rated developmental tour.
Since his last NGA TOUR start in January of 2012, Henley has picked up three Web.com Tour wins and one victory on the PGA TOUR. On Thursday, Henley continued with his hot hand, ousting Charl Schwartzel in the first round of the WGC-Match Play in his first start in the elite event.
Henley, who won his first start as a PGA TOUR member in the Sony Open, bounced back from a disappointing double bogey-bogey finish on Wednesday that eliminated his 2-up advantage by winning the 12th hole with a par and the 13th with a birdie to regain that edge. Henley reeled off five straight pars to win the match and bested Schwartzel 1 up.
Former NGA TOUR winner Bubba Watson also advanced to the second round of play, beating Chris Wood 2 and 1 in the first round. Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, took his first lead of the day with a par on the seventh hole and added an eagle on the eighth hole to go 2 up. Watson held the lead rest of the way and eliminated Wood with a birdie on No. 17, setting up a second-round match with NGA alum Jim Furyk.
Furyk, a 1992 NGA TOUR member and 2010 FedExCup Champion, took his first lead on the eighth hole with a birdie and won the next three holes to create a 4-up lead and cruised to a 4 and 2 victory over Ryan Moore.
Fellow NGA TOUR member Scott Piercy also advanced out of the first round. In his first appearance in the event, Piercy, a former NGA TOUR winner, beat Paul Lawrie 4 and 3 on Thursday. Piercy, who started 2012 ranked outside the top 150 in the world, won the first two holes and never trailed. Piercy, a No. 8 seed, now plays Luke Donald in the second round of the Snead bracket.
NGA alum Robert Garrigus also made easy work of his opponent in the opening round of play. The 1998 NGA TOUR player birdied five of his first eight holes to build a commanding lead and cruised to a 4 and 3 win over Branden Grace. Garrigus, who is also playing in his first WGC-Match Play, now faces Louis Oosthuizen in the second round of the Hogan bracket.
NGA winners Watson, Bradley top-seeded alums
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – February 19, 2013 – While March Madness is still a month away, NGA TOUR fans will have a chance to brush up on their bracketology this week with the playing of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play.
Nine NGA TOUR alums have earned a spot in the elite, 64-player event, and several are poised to make a run at the finals. Former NGA Tour winners Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley are the top-seeded alums in the event.
Watson, who won the 2004 NGA Michelob Ultra Classic, enters the event with the No. 9 overall seeding and the No. 2 seeding in the Bobby Jones bracket. Watson has a pair of top-15 finishes in three starts on the PGA TOUR this season and will take on England’s Chris Wood in the first round. In his first appearance in the event in 2011, Watson made it all the way to the semifinals before being eliminated.
Bradley, a 2009 NGA Tour member/winner, holds the No. 13 seed overall and is seeded No. 4 in the Ben Hogan bracket. Given his stellar performance in the Ryder Cup, Bradley should show well in the match-play event. The former St. John’s golfer advanced to the second round last year and will take Australian Marcus Fraser, the No. 13 seed in the bracket, in the first round on Wednesday.
Fellow NGA TOUR winner Zach Johnson enters the event in the top half of the bracket, holding down the No. 24 seed. The former NGA TOUR Player of the Year is sixth seed in the Jones bracket and will play Jason Day in the first round.
Jim Furyk, a 1992 NGA TOUR member and 2010 FedExCup Champion, is seeded seventh in the Jones bracket and will take on Ryan Moore in the first round. Furyk, the 25th seed overall, has a 10-12 record in the match-play event.
A year ago, former NGA TOUR Scott Piercy was outside the top 150 in the world, but a win and 17 top-25 finishes later the former San Diego State University golfer will be making his first appearance in the elite event. Piercy is the No. 35 seed overall and will play Scotland’s Paul Lawrie in the first round.
Like Piercy, NGA TOUR alum Robert Garrigus will be making his first start in the event. Garrigus, who has earned 18 top-25 finishes and nearly $4 million in the last 14 months on the PGA TOUR, is the seeded 36th overall and will play Branden Grace in the first round.
John Senden, a former NGA TOUR competitor, advanced to the third round last year and will look to move further this season. Senden, the 43rd overall seed, will play Bo Van Pelt in the first round.
Former NGA Tour winner David Toms will be looking for his second win in the WGC-Match Play. Toms throttled Chris DiMarco 6 and 5 to win in 2005 and enters with the No. 12 seeding in the Sam Snead bracket. Only Tiger Woods has won more matches in the WGC-Match play than Toms, who will take on No. 5 seed Nick Watney in the first round.
Russell Henley was playing on the NGA TOUR about this time last year, but the UGA alum will make his first start in a WGC event this week. Henley, who won the 2013 PGA TOUR’s Sony Open, is the No. 56 seed overall and will take on Charl Schwartzel in the first round of play on Wednesday.
NGA TOUR alums in WGC-Match Play:
- Bubba Watson
- Keegan Bradley
- Zach Johnson
- Jim Furyk
- Scott Piercy
- Robert Garrigus
- John Senden
- David Toms
- Russell Henley