February 21 2013
MARANA, Ariz. -- American Bubba Watson came out sizzling on Thursday to put away pesky Englishman Chris Wood, 2 and 1, in the first round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Watson, a No. 2 seed, will now face Jim Furyk in the second round. Watson reached the semifinals here two years ago.
The Masters champ struggled on Wednesday before a snowstorm halted play. The match was all square through six holes at that point, even though Watson had suffered a double bogey and a bogey in that stretch.
But on Thursday, he won the seventh hole with a par, then eagled the par-5 eighth when he holed out from off the green. That put him 2 up.
Watson birdied the 11th and 13th holes to match Wood, who was also playing better than he had the previous day. When Wood birdied the par-4 15th with an 11-foot putt, Watson's lead was reduced to 1 up.
But Watson won the next hole, the par-3 16th, when he rolled in an 18-footer for birdie. Both players birdied the 17th, Watson hitting his approach shot within 3 feet.
"We both played better this afternoon," Watson said. "Yesterday with the cold weather we all struggled a little bit. We both made birdies, and we just kept tying, and luckily I made some birdies down the stretch."