Manassero def. Donald 5 & 4 in WGC Match Play

No. 5 Gary Player bracket seed Luke Donald gives up the early advantage to Matteo Manassero in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, then cannot recover as Manassero cruises to an easy win closed out midway through the back nine.

We’ll keep you posted on the highlights of the Donald vs. Manassero match right here – and scroll down for our preview coverage.

• • •

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 449 yards

This one was over a while ago, and ends without much of a climax after four straight halved holes. Manassero is 3-1 in WGC Match Play first-round matches.


• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 5, 576 yards

BIrdies on three straight holes – Manassero at the sixth, Donald at the seventh and Manassero again at the eighth – stretch the Italian’s lead as they approach the turn.

THRU EIGHT HOLES: Manassero, 3 up

• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 5, 576 yards

BIrdies on three straight holes – Manassero at the sixth, Donald at the seventh and Manassero again at the eighth – stretch the Italian’s lead as they approach the turn.

THRU EIGHT HOLES: Manassero, 3 up

• • •

Hole No. 3: Par 3, 208 yards

Par is enough to double Manassero’s advantage in this match early on as Donald suffers a miscue. They follow with pars at the fourth.

THRU FOUR HOLES: Manassero, 2 up

• • •

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 460 yards

An opening birdie helps Manassero forget the disparity in the rankings between himself and Donald as the Italian takes the lead straightaway.

• • •

Luke Donald

  • OWGR Rank: 21
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 42
  • 2014 PGA Tour results: T-31, WGC-HSBC Champions
  • Match Play results (since 2009): T-17 (2013); T-33 (2012); Won (2011); T-9 (2010); T-9 (2009)
  • Comments: His record at Match Play can’t be ignored, considering he won in 2011 and has two more T-9s. He’s fallen down the rankings, but this is the type of event where he could sneak up on the field because he is a bit of a forgotten man.

• • •

Matteo Manassero

  • OWGR Rank: 50
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 100
  • 2014 PGA Tour results: T-21, HSBC Champions
  • Match Play results (since 2009): T-33 (2013), T-17 (2012), T-9 (2011)
  • Comments: He’s young, but Manassero already has three Match Plays under his belt, including a Round-of-16 appearance back in 2011.

• • •

Match Play preview coverage

Hole-by-hole preview of Dove Mountain, Match Play host course

The Golf Club at Dove Mountain is certainly fun to watch from home. And with match play, just about anything can happen, especially on this dramatic, rugged Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountain Range just north of Tucson, Ariz. See photos and a strategic description of all 18 holes.

Match Play cheat sheet: Player-by-player breakdowns

Henrik Stenson will enter this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship as the top seed, a year after his won the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai. Meanwhile, last year’s champ Matt Kuchar is coming off his first missed cut in nearly 18 months as 61 of the top 67 players in the world will play at Dove Mountain. Here’s a look at each player in the field.

B. Watson carries confidence into WGC Match Play

Bubba Golf is back in vogue. Bomb it, find it, wedge it, putt it. That has worked so well lately that Bubba Watson finds himself high on the current Hot Golfer List, having won (Northern Trust Open on Sunday) and finished second (Waste Management Phoenix Open) in his last two PGA Tour starts. Hence, Watson comes to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship as a scary draw, if there is such a thing in the unpredictable culture of 18-hole match play.

Expert picks: No clear favorite at WGC Match Play

The field is stacked and this is truly the “anything-can-happen” tournament of the year, as match play seems to even the playing field in golf. With Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott taking the WGC-Accenture Match Play off, a bit of intrigue might be lost, but the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter should provide some drama worth watching.

R.McIlroy tops Match Play odds; D. Johnson, J. Day close

Rory McIlroy tops the list of odds to win this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, with Dustin Johnson and Jason Day not far behind. McIlroy is listed at 12/1 to win the tournament, with Johnson and Day at 15/1.

I. Poulter’s early start reminiscent of year it snowed

Ian Poulter will have a little bit of experience on his side Wednesday, with another early-morning tee time in the this World Golf Championship. Although afternoon temperatures are predicted to be in the 80s, the early-morning groups will probably start out in sub-50 weather, so if there is cold anywhere, Poulter’s match against Rickie Fowler will have it. And it’s an intriguing match right out of the gates, as Poulter clearly has a fondness for this championship.

Show Hide