Feb
23
2011
Round One Matches Complete; Bracket Check!
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

The Twitter Battle

Besides the Tiger Woods vs. Thomas Bjorn match, the biggest upset of the day came in the “Twitter Showdown” between defending champion Ian Poulter and Stewart Cink, who defeated Poulter 1-up in 19 holes. Cink battled back from a two-hole deficit through 14 holes, draining several clutch putts to send Poults packing back to Orlando.

Since the match was dubbed the Twitter Battle, let’s turn to Cink and Poulter’s Twitter feeds for their reaction. First, here’s Poults (start reading from the bottom):

Next, a modest Cink:

If you picked Cink to upset Poulter, then well done. I certainly didn’t. I also picked Tiger to beat Bjorn.

It was certainly an exciting day of matches, though. How about Nick Watney waxing Anthony Kim 5&4? I had a feeling that might happen since Watney has been a birdie machine lately, so chose accordingly. However, I have Lee Westwood beating Watney tomorrow. In retrospect, I should have chosen Watney.

Mark Wilson, one of the hottest players on Tour with two wins, came back to beat long-hitting Dustin Johnson. Wilson was two-down with three holes to play, but fought back to beat DJ in 19 holes. After DJ bogeyed the 16th, Wilson made a seven-footer to save par on the 17th. He rolled in a 14-footer for birdie on 18 to extend the match and then won the first extra hole after DJ missed a four-footer for par. Wilson plays against another bomber in the second round, Bubba Watson.

Justin Rose beat Zach Johnson 2&1, but judging by their scorecard, it wasn’t pretty. Check this out:

How did your brackets fare? I picked 22 of the 36 matches correctly, which I’m pleased with. In some cases, I should have gone with my gut, but I think if you’re batting .500 and the guys you have in the final four are still in it, you’re in good shape.

As for matches to watch tomorrow, there are some good ones! Have you caught Match Play fever yet? I have!

*Rickie Fowler vs. Phil Mickelson: This is the youth vs. veteran match, which is sure to be the focus of the Round 2 matches. Rickie’s scorecard looked very Phil-esque with four birdies, one eagle and four bogeys. Phil didn’t have a great day — he had three birdies yet waxed Brendan Jones 6&5. My pick: Fowler.

*Lee Westwood vs. Nick Watney: Westwood didn’t get much coverage on the Golf Channel telecast, which was widely discussed on Twitter. Via Twitter, manager Chubby Chandler called it a “lack of respect,” and also pointed out posters with the wrong logos because they were two years old. Lee jokingly tweeted, “For anybody wondering , I am playing in the matchplay and I did win 3&2. Thanks the golf channel!” Poulter joined in on the fun [sic]: “Don’t worry @WestwoodLee tiger lost today so you might get a couple of shots on the coverage tomorrow. Your only world No1.” He’s right, though — Westy probably will get a lot of TV time with Tiger out of the picture. My pick: Like I mentioned, I had Westy winning in my bracket, but I’d go with Watney if I could change it.

*Graeme McDowell vs. Ross Fisher: I have G-Mac winning the entire thing. No one in the US cares about Fisher, but G-Mac and Fisher are managed by the same guys. I wonder who they’ll be rooting for? G-Mac beat Heath Slocum 4&3, but from the looks of the scorecard, he had an OK day. Meanwhile, it appears Fisher got hot on the back nine with four birdies to finish off Robert Allenby. My pick: G-Mac.

*Edoardo Molinari vs. Luke Donald: Donald obliterated Charley Hoffman 6&5. Molinari made seven birdies on his way to beating Martin Laird. I’m intrigued with this match. Molinari seems to be on a hot streak, but when it comes to match play, Donald is a tough foe. For some reason, he strikes the fear of God in his opponents. Probably has something to do with his near perfect record. My pick: Donald.

*Mark Wilson vs. Bubba Watson: Wilson facing off another long-hitter. He came from behind to beat Dustin Johnson. Bubba’s been playing well, but Mark is steady with the hotter hand. My pick: Wilson.

*As for the rest of the matches, my picks are in bold: Rory McIlroy vs. Ben Crane; Stewart Cink vs. Y.E. Yang; Paul Casey vs. Jason Day; Ernie Els vs. JB Holmes; Matteo Manassero vs. Charl Schwartzel; Matt Kuchar vs. Bo Van Pelt; Thomas Bjorn vs. Geoff Ogilvy; KJ Choi vs. Ryan Moore; Martin Kaymer vs. Justin Rose; Robert Karlsson vs. Hunter Mahan.

Which matches are you intrigued with? Who are your picks?

(AP Photo/Matt York)