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Watson impresses in match-play run

Bubba Watson, lining up a putt vs. Geoff Ogilvy at the Match Play Championship, has led every hole in his three matches.

Associated Press

Bubba Watson, lining up a putt vs. Geoff Ogilvy at the Match Play Championship, has led every hole in his three matches.

MARANA, Ariz. — Youth gave way to power in the Match Play Championship on Friday with J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson blasting away in the high desert to advance to the quarterfinals.

No one has been as impressive as Watson, who has played only 43 holes in three matches, has led every hole and is the only player left who has yet to reach the 17th hole.

He was long and straight against Geoff Ogilvy, a two-time champion in this World Golf Championships event. Watson was 7 under through 13 holes and had 10 feet for birdie when Ogilvy hit into the sand and conceded the 6 and 4 win.

"Hit a lot of good putts, a lot of good iron shots," Watson said. "Haven't missed that many fairways, probably no more than five all three days. So it's been good so far."

Holmes, with his ferocious swing, applied enough pressure on Jason Day to win the last two holes and escape with a 1-up victory. That set up a Holmes-Watson quarterfinal today.

Rickie Fowler, who Thursday gave Phil Mickelson his worst loss in this tournament, dropped the first three holes on the back nine and lost 2 and 1 to Matt Kuchar. The youngest player who advanced was Martin Kaymer, 26. Last year's PGA champion and the No. 2 seed had to rally on the back nine against Hunter Mahan, and the match ended on the 17th with a chip.

Kaymer advanced to play Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 47 the oldest player in the field. Jimenez gave Ben Crane another short day at the office. Crane, whose 8 and 7 win Thursday over Rory McIlroy was the second-largest margin in tournament history, didn't make a birdie until the 11th hole and lost 7 and 6.

Expected strong wind this weekend forced officials to move up the starting times for today's quarterfinals and switch the semifinals from Sunday to today.

PGA: Chris Stroud made eight straight birdies, one off the tour record, and shot 63 to take a three-stroke lead at 11-under 131 after the second round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Kevin Stadler (66), Cameron Percy (66) and Sunghoon Kang (67) were tied for second.

LPGA: Chie Arimura shot 6-under 66 to lead Karrie Webb (66) by two at 10-under 134 after the second round of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (69) was at par 144. … Organizers of the annual tour stop in Springfield, Ill., said State Farm will drop its sponsorship after this year's June tournament. Kate Peters, executive director of the State Farm Classic, said she was disappointed and would try to find another sponsor. A message left for a State Farm spokeswoman was not returned.

British open: Prom Meesawat of Thailand and Jason Knutzon of the United States will make their tournament debuts in July after grabbing two of four reserved spots in a qualifier at Chonburi, Thailand. Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan and Lam Chih-bing of Singapore claimed the other two berths. Prom shot 7-under 65 for a 12-under 132 total to win by two over Hiratsuka (64).

Watson impresses in match-play run 02/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 26, 2011 12:01am]
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