|One, Two, Three ... You're Out|
|by Martin Olivera|
The top-3 seeds were sent packing yesterday at La Costa. Woods,
Mickelson, and Duval are out, and their rivals, Australian
Peter O'Malley, veteran John Cook and rookie Kevin
Sutherland are now moving on to the second round. Those were THE
upsets of the day. Players seeded #4 through #10 won their match but,
overall, five of the top-15 are out.
"It was a no-lose situation for me", said O'Malley. His 2&1 victory over Tiger Woods had a dramatic finish on 17th. After losing 16th when Woods sank a 25-foot birdie putt to go 2-down, the 36-year-old Australian made a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th while Tiger had a 2-footer for birdie to possibly win the hole and extend the match to 18th. "The turning point was 15th", pointed out the 64th-ranked player. "I made a 15-foot for birdie and he had an 8-footer" (which he missed). Woods made only one birdie all day (16th) and was still in the match because O'Malley made a couple of bogeys on the front side and one on the back.
Sutherland birdied the last two holes in regulation to tie Duval, then won on the second extra hole.
John Cook stopped giving putts to Mickelson in the back nine, after the #2 seeded was making him putt all the two-footers. Mickelson lipped out a 2-footer on the par-3 11th to lose the hole. Downhill from there.
** Last three champions of this event are not around for the rest of the week: Maggert never even made the field, Clarke lost to Gogel (2&1), and Stricker lost to DiMarco (3&2).
** The field included 36 Americans and there were 14 matches where US players were facing non-US oponents. Eight matches were won by the US, while six were won by the "rest of the world".