Feb 26, 2011 1:00 AM by Blog by John Batbie Jr.
MARANA - Headlines for today include the elimination of the young guns, the amazing J. B. Holmes, who still keeps trucking along, a former multi-winner of this event is now gone, the world's number two player remains in the hunt, and finally, the weather impact on this weekend's matches.
Luke Donald eliminated 17-year old Matteo Manassero 3 and 2. For a while in the round, it appeared that Arizona social workers would have to be called in because of the beating the teenager was getting from Donald. Down 5 holes after 10 played, Manassero, to his credit, battled back admirably and won 2 of the next 5 holes before time ran out on the gifted teen. 22-year old Ricky Fowler played Matt Kuchar, it was tough but in the end he fell short losing 2 and 1. 23-year Jason Day lost to J. B. Holmes in a back and forth match that went the full 18 holes before it was decided in J.B. Holmes favor. Speaking of Holmes, he was added on at the last minute, did not even see the course until he began his first match, and now he's looking strong after his third victory in a row.
Also eliminated today was 2-time match play event winner, Geoff Ogilvy, who had a 20-3 record in this event entering today's match. He went down at the hands of long-hitting Bubba Watson who will face J. B. Holmes in tomorrow's quarterfinals. The world's number two player, Martin Kaymer, won his round 2 and 1 over Hunter Mahan and will face Miguel Angel Jimenez tomorrow. The remaining two matches pit Ryan Moore against Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar against Y. E. Yang.
I won't be doing any more bragging about the desert weather as it going to change significantly beginning Saturday forcing schedule changes to the Match Play event. The forecast calls for 25-35 mph winds with higher gusts on Saturday followed by cold temperatures and precipitation on Sunday morning. As a result, tomorrow, the quarterfinal matches will be moved up to a 7:10 a.m. start and the semi-final will be moved to an 11:45 a.m. start. The consolidation and championship matches are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. respectively on Sunday.
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