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Watson leads list of match play winners

Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM   |   Comments

MARANA, Ariz., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Masters winner Bubba Watson survived a missed 2-foot putt on the 18th hole Friday to reach the third round of the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.

Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Webb Simpson and defending champion Hunter Mahan also moved on in a tournament that has lost its top four seeds over the opening two rounds.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the top two seeds, were eliminated in the opening round of match play and the next two seeds -- Luke Donald and Louis Oosthuizen -- were knocked out Friday.

After a 2-inch snowfall threw the tournament off schedule Wednesday, tournament officials plan to play the third round and the quarterfinals on Saturday. The semifinals and championship match will be take place Sunday.

Watson, the long-hitting left-hander who defeated Oosthuizen in a playoff to win the Masters last year, needed four extra holes to defeat Jim Furyk and set up a third-round meeting with Jason Day.

Watson had a 1-up lead heading to the 18th hole, where he hit a spectacular approach shot that finished two feet from the cup. Furyk answered by putting his second shot to within five feet and he made the birdie putt. That forced Watson to hole his putt to win the match, but he missed it and they went into a sudden death playoff.

Day also had to work overtime to defeat PGA Tour rookie Russell Henley in 19 holes. Henley made a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to force overtime, but Day birdied the first extra hole.

Stricker advanced with a 2-and-1 win over Nick Watney, Kuchar took out Sergio Garcia 2-and-1, Simpson was a 1-up winner over Peter Hanson and Mahan rolled over Richard Sterne 4-and-3.

In the third round Stricker will face Scott Piercy, Kuchar will play Nicolas Colsaerts, Simpson will tackle Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Mahan will be challenged by Martin Kaymer.

Piercy pulled off the biggest surprise in the second round by winning four of the first five holes and eventually drubbing Donald 7-and-6. Oosthuizen was eliminated by Robert Garrigus 3-and-2.

Ian Poulter, winner of this tournament in 2010, downed Bo Van Pelt 3-and-1 and will next meet Tim Clark.

Of the 16 players remaining, seven are from the United States, seven are from Europe, one is from Australia and one is from South Africa.

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