By Seth Kerr
GolfWRX Staff Writer
In what has become a familiar refrain, Tiger Woods’ putter failed him again in his match against Nick Watney. Woods, who used to be so well known for clutch putting, couldn’t even sniff the hole on a 5-foot birdie putt to tie Watney on No. 18.
“I didn’t miss a single shot coming in, which is good,” Woods said. “And that was fun, to hit the ball that well. Unfortunately, I just didn’t make a putt when I needed it.”
To say he didn’t make a putt is like saying Woods has had minor struggles the last two years. This was Woods match for the taking, but he failed to make any of the three 10-foot putts he had on the final six holes, handing the victory to Watney.
“I’m very happy to move on,” Watney said. “I feel a bit fortunate, as well. We don’t see him miss putts like that very often. And there were a few of them.”
In what will likely be the feature match on Friday, Watney moves on to face Lee Westwood. Westwood, by beating Robert Karlsson, already has his best finish ever at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Steve Stricker celebrated his 45th birthday in style with a 1-up victory over Louis Oosthuizen. Stricker would be the oldest winner of the Accenture Match Play Championship, but Hunter Mahan may have something to say about that.
Mahan dominated Y.E. Yang 5 and 3, winning holes No. 4 through 8 and never looking back.
“I was swinging nice,” Mahan said. “Hit a lot of good shots. It was all clicking.”
Another player with everything clicking, Dustin Johnson, trounced Francesco Molinari for the most lopsided victory of this year’s championship. Johnson had a five-hole lead after nine and finished off Molinari on No. 13. Johnson will be looking for revenge against Mark Wilson, who knocked Johnson out of last year. In a match of contrasts, Johnson will look to over power the course with his prodigious length, while Wilson will stick to his steady play and impressive putting.
In a third round match that could produce a dark horse candidate for winner, Jon Senden faces Sang-Moon Bae. Senden looks to build on his 6 and 5 victory over countryman Jason Day. Bae, a relative unknown from South Korea, may have the two most impressive victories thus far, defeating former champion, Ian Poulter in Round 1 and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel in Round 2.
“The Mechanic,” Miguel Angel Jimenez, defeated the up and down Keegan Bradley. Bradley who was on fire in Round 1, never lead against Jimenez. Jimenez started the day winning three -traight holes to go 3-up and finished off Bradley on No. 17 with a birdie. Jimenez will next face Rory McIlroy, who defeated Anders Hansen 3 and 2.
In a match sure to bring back bad memories, Brandt Snedeker beat Kyle Stanley 2 and 1. Stanley lost in a playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open to Snedeker after having a three shot lead heading into the last hole. Again, Stanley lost it late with Snedeker birding Nos. 15 and 16 to take a 2-up lead. Snedeker will move on to face Peter Hansen who easily handled Ernie Els 5 and 4, one day after Els defeated top ranked Luke Donald.
Round 3 coverage begins at 12 p.m. EST on the Golf Channel.