Originally created 02/28/04

No sweat for Woods



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 Friday and only went to the 15th tee 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 up is Padraig Harrington, who outlasted David Toms in 18 holes.

"For someone to make it through three matches, they're probably playing pretty good," Woods said.

Equally impressive is Mickelson, whose length and accuracy have proven to be a tough combination.

Mickelson never lost a hole in beating British Open champion Ben Curtis, 7 and 6, to tie the tournament record for largest margin of victory.

Then he overcame a hot start by 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.

Mickelson might have the toughest quarterfinal match today. He'll take on Davis III, who beat Adam Scott 4 and 3.

Love has trailed for only one hole in three matches, and he has been hitting the ball better with each round.

"I hope Phil is worried," Love said with a smile. "I doubt it."

In additon to Woods and Mickelson, the other survivors looked good, too. Five of the top 10 seeds were still alive, the most star power ever this late in golf's most unpredictable tournament.

  • Jerry Kelly plowed through Vijay Singh in the second round, then built a 4-up lead and hung on against Chad Campbell, winning on the 18th hole.
  • Ian Poulter of England played only 30 holes Friday, taking advantage of sloppy play by Duffy Waldorf (7 and 5) and John Huston (2 and 1).
  • Darren Clarke hammered Alex Cejka in the morning and finished off Kenny Perry in the afternoon.
  • Stephen Leaney of Australia never trailed against Masters Tournament champion Mike Weir. In the third round, he ended Colin Montgomerie's longest stay in San Diego with a par on the final hole to win, 1-up.
  • Harrington beat Bob Estes and Toms.