Friday, February 27, 2009

ACM - Day 3 Preview

I think I got a little overwhelmed with the full bracket breakdown on Wednesday, so I apologize for not putting up a day two preview.

Now that I've recovered, it's time to break down the sweet sixteen.

Bobby Jones Bracket

Match 53
#8 Tim Clark SAF vs. #4 Rory McIlroy NIR

I don't think Tim Clark will suffer any letdown after beating Tiger. I am also not surprised he pulled out the win. Tim Clark is a solid player who is going to be a major champion someday.
Rory McIlroy is plugging along. The look on his face after beating Hunter Mahan displayed relief and excitement - he wants to win, and he's looking forward to continuing to advance.
As well as Clark is playing I don't know that Rory has enough to beat him, but I still believe Rory's playing on a big stage and trying to make a statement here in his first start on U.S. soil.

I'll take the young gun in a thriller.

Outcome: McIlroy, 19 Holes

Match 54
#2 Geoff Ogilvy AUS vs. #3 Camillo Villegas COL

The left side of the bracket features 4 incredible matchups. And this isn't even the best of them.
It's a great pairing, though, and should be the most competitive of the bunch.
Ogilvy is as steady and unflappable as Villegas is fiery and explosive. Both are playing well, and this is a toss-up.
I'm continuing to make bad choices by taking the player I really like and going against the player I still haven't warmed to.
This will be a barn burner.

Outcome: Ogilvy, 1UP

Ben Hogan Bracket

Match 49
#9 Luke Donald ENG vs. #4 Ernie Els SAF

This decision isn't any easier to make. I don't know if Luke spent a ton of energy in his comeback against Vijay Singh, but it looks like he's playing well and ready to advance. Els' win over Steve Stricker was equally impressive, but I don't know how confident I am that he can continue to win.
Luke Donald is proving to me that he is playing well, and I'll take him in another closely contested match which could go either way. I have no idea.

Outcome: Donald, 1UP

Match 50
#2 Phil Mickelson USA vs. #6 Stewart Cink USA

This is the only match of the four where I really think I have an idea what's going to happen. I'm sure tomorrow the results will prove me wrong.
Phil is playing very good golf right now and he won his first two matches, which is all that matters. In any bracketed tournament, the motto is "survive and advance."
Stewart Cink has been doing the exact same thing, although in a different manner. He has not run out to big leads, but instead battled closely to the end to pull out wins.
I think they're both great match play players, but I'm giving the edge to the player who has an incredible record in both President's Cup and Ryder Cup play.
Oh, he has a runner-up finish in this tourney as well.

Outcome: Cink, 2 AND 1

Gary Player Bracket

Match 55
#8 Ian Poulter ENG vs. #12 Sean O'Hair USA

Ian Poulter is proving to be a capable match play player. Sean O'Hair is showing people why he will someday, sooner rather than later, become a successful President's Cup and Ryder Cup player.
O'Hair took out a very capable Boo Weekley today, and Poulter has been the recipient of a beneficial draw.
Sean O'Hair needs to step up soon. Getting to the Elite Eight here will be a good start.

Outcome: O'Hair, 2 AND 1

Match 56
#15 Peter Hansen SWE vs. #6 Paul Casey ENG

Peter Hansen is one of the few fifteen seeds to make it this far in this event. He's playing very good golf right now. Paul Casey got a bit of a reprieve in facing Matthew Goggin on day two after having to eliminate Aaron Baddeley.
The big upsets tend to stop once the players reach the sweet sixteen. Paul Casey is the one to watch on this side of the bracket and in the Gary Player bracket specifically.

Outcome: Casey, 4 AND 3

Sam Snead Bracket

Match 51
#9 Ross Fisher ENG vs. #4 Jim Furyk USA

Ross Fisher is not a fifteen seed, but with the lack of knowledge I had of him he just as well could have been.
Jim Furyk continues to do what he does best - play good golf, fly under the radar and pick up wins.
He'll continue to do that on day 3 since he has more experience in his earlobe than Ross Fisher has in his golf bag. This won't be a blowout, but I don't see Furyk losing here.

Outcome: Furyk, 2 AND 1

Match 52
#7 Justin Leonard USA vs. #11 Owen Wilson ENG

This will not be the most flashy of matches, even though both of these players can make putts from anywhere. They could be in your backyard right now and put it in the cup on your local muni.
Leonard is solid and experienced in match play. Owen Wilson got indoctrinated at last year's Ryder Cup, and came through in flying colors.
This will be an entertaining match to watch, filled with solid golf. I'm going to take the player I wanted to in the first round and who has convinced me that he's the real deal.

Outcome: Wilson, 2 AND 1

1 comment:

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