Saturday, February 28, 2004

Woods, Mickelson, Love roll on

Trio march to Match Play quarters

The Associated Press

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson made short work of a long day at the Match Play Championship, both needing only 28 holes to win two matches and reach the quarterfinals. Woods, who narrowly survived the first round, never trailed in both matches and never even made it to the 15th tee, except for post-match interviews.

He jumped out to a big lead against Trevor Immelman in the second round, then steadied himself amid the wild adventures of Fredrik Jacobson, winning both matches, 5 and 4. Woods set a tournament record by winning his ninth straight match. Next is Padraig Harrington, who outlasted David Toms in 18 holes.

Equally impressive is Mickelson, whose length and accuracy has proven to be a tough combination. Mickelson never lost a hole in beating British Open champ Ben Curtis, 7 and 6, to tie the tournament record for largest margin of victory. Then, he overcame Chris DiMarco to win 3 and 2.

Mickelson reached the quarterfinals for the first time in the Accenture Match Play Championship, getting there with only two bogeys through his first three matches, and 10 birdies in 28 holes Friday.

"Because I've kept it in play, the course seems to be so much easier," Mickelson said. "You'd think after 33 years I'd figure that out."

Mickelson (45) and Woods (46) have played fewer holes in three matches than anyone, although they're only halfway home to the finals and a shot at the $1.2 million prize.

Davis Love III might have had the easiest time. After beating good friend Fred Couples in the morning, Love had about two hours before his third-round match against Adam Scott, a 23-hole winner over Robert Allenby.

PGA TOUR: Heath Slocum shot an 8-under 64 - his second consecutive bogey-free round - to take a two-shot lead in the rain-curtailed second round of the Chrysler Classic of Tucson.

Michael Clark carded a second-round 65 and Geoff Ogilvy shot 66, leaving them two shots behind of Slocum's 13-under 131 among players who completed 36 holes. Seventy-two late starters failed to complete the round when play was suspended in late afternoon.

ANZ LADIES MASTERS: Playing on sponsor exemption, Karen Stupples shrugged off difficult afternoon conditions at Royal Pines to shoot a 5-under-par 67 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round at Gold Coast, Australia. First-round leader Rachel Teske faltered with four bogeys on the back nine for a 72. Annika Sorenstam, making her 2004 debut, stayed in touch with a 70 that left her four back of Stupples' 9-under 135.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: Australian David Diaz shot a bogey-free 67 to lead the New Zealand PGA Championship by one stroke after the second round at Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Woods, Mickelson, Love roll on
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