February 22 2013
MARANA, Ariz. -- After a short match in the first round, Steve Stricker needed extra holes on Friday. Three extra holes, to be exact.
Stricker, the 2001 Accenture Match Play champ, outlasted fellow American Nick Watney in 21 holes to advance to the third round for the fourth time in 11 starts in this event.
Stricker played bogey-free golf for his final 13 holes. Watney carded just two bogeys, both coming in the first three holes of the match before he ran off a string of 18 bogey-free holes.
"It was a good hard-fought match," said Stricker, who needed just 14 holes to beat David Toms in the first round. "I knew it would be tough to finish him off."
Watney was 2 down after 13 but produced four birdies in his next five holes to square the match going into the 18th hole. For the round, he hit 71 percent of his greens and 81 percent of his fairways.
After halving three consecutive holes, including the first two playoff holes, Stricker won the match at the par-3 third with a brilliant tee shot to within 6 feet. Meanwhile, Watney found the greenside bunker and pitched out to 11 feet before conceding the hole and the match.
"I feel fortunate to get through," Stricker said. "Any one of those extra holes could've gone either way."
SCORECARD STATS: Stricker carded seven birdies and one bogey. Watney carded one eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.
HOLES WON: Stricker won five holes. Watney won three holes.
NEXT OPPONENT: Stricker plays Scott Piercy in the third round of the Snead bracket.