Padraig Harrington carded his worst score since the final round of the 2009 US PGA when he closed with a six over 78 to finish near the back of the field in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
As DA Points teamed up with actor Bill Murray to complete a pro-am double at the Monterey venue, Harrington followed a three over 73 on the Monterey Peninsula course on Saturday with a rollercoaster final round that left him tied for 63rd out of 71 on two over par.
As he headed to Los Angeles for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, Harrington may have known that Phil Mickelson has decided to compete in WGC-Accenture Match Play championship in Tucson next week.
But barring a late withdrawal by Italian Francesco Molinari, who became a father for the first time last week, the three time major winner will face Australian matchplay specialist Geoff Ogilvy in the first round at The Ritz Carlton-Golf Club.
Winner of the matchplay title in 2006 and 2009 and a beaten finalist in 2007, Ogilvy missed the cut at Pebble Beach but he will not be too concerned about taking on Harrington, who has lost in the first round at Dove Mountain for the past two year.
The 39 year old Dubliner start on the back nine with a bogey at the 10th and while he birdied the 13th, it was all downhill after that.
After a bogey at the 14th, he drove into the ocean at the 18th to run up a double bogey seven and then had a triple bogey eight at the second, where he thinned a bunker shot through the green in four, fluffed the next and went through the green again with his sixth before chipping dead.
The then finished with seven pars in a row for a 78 that equalled his closing round in the 2009 PGA at Hazeltine, where he had a quintuple bogey eight on the par-three eighth.
Harrington’s matchplay opponent will depend on whether or not Molinair decides to play in Tucson.
The AP’s Doug Ferguson reported:
Lee Westwood, who took over at No. 1 in the world three months ago, will be the top seed when the Accenture Match Play begins Feb. 23 on Dove Mountain just north of Tucson.
PGA Champion Martin Kaymer will be the No. 2 seed, followed by Tiger Woods and Mickelson.
The 64-man field was determined Sunday night by the latest world ranking, and the only player to crack the top 64 was Anders Hansen. His tie for second in the Dubai Desert Classic moved him from No. 70 to No. 52.
Henrik Stenson, who won the Match Play in 2007 the first year it moved to Arizona, fell from No. 62 to No. 65 after missing the cut in Dubai. He would be first alternate, depending on a fellow European.
Francesco Molinari had planned to skip the Match Play because his wife was expecting. She gave birth to their first child, a son, last week. Asked if he had decided to play, Molinari replied to the AP on Twitter, “not yet no, 60 (percent) yes 40 (percent) no right now.”
Players have until Friday to decide to play, and the pairings will be released a week from Sunday. After that, alternates could replace someone in the field until all matches tee off.
If Molinari decides to play, Westwood would play Toru Taniguchi of Japan in the first round. Taniguchi reached the semifinals of the Match Play when it was held in Australia in 2001, losing to eventual winner Steve Stricker in the semifinals.
Kaymer would face Seung-yul Noh, while Woods would play longtime friend Thomas Bjorn and Mickelson would get Brendan Jones.
Other matches that could be intriguing if Molinari plays would be Sean O’Hair against Hunter Mahan, two pupils of swing coach Sean Foley; defending champion Ian Poulter against Stewart Cink; and Geoff Ogilvy against Padraig Harrington.
The format for the Accenture Match Play Championship has changed this year from a 36-hole championship match on Sunday to 18-hole semifinals Sunday morning and an 18-hole championship that afternoon.