2006 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
Bobby Jones Bracket, Round 1: Tiger Woods (1) versus Stephen Ames (16)
18 holes match play
Hole 1, Par 4 Tiger Woods elected to use a fairway wood off the tee and seemingly play for position. His tee shot was not good and sailed towards the trees on the right hand side. Ames’ now-infamous pre-match comments appeared to be right on the money, and then the ball struck the trees and ricocheted into the fairway.
Ames round the left rough with his tee shot and then failed to make par from about 10 feet away.
Woods had knocked his approach to six or seven feet and with two putts for the hole, the Canadian conceded the birdie. Woods 1UP.
Hole 2, Par 3 Centre of the green off the tee for Woods, with about 15 feet for birdie. Ames was outside Tiger, but rolled his par putt up to kick-in distance – and gave the World number one a chance to win the opening two holes.
Tiger’s birdie putt got all the way to the hole and then stopped on the lip – half a rotation short. As Woods was about to move in and tap it in, the ball dropped into the cup and was greeted by a big grin. Woods 2UP.
Hole 3, Par 5 Tiger drove his ball into deep rough just next to a fairway bunker. Undetered he thumped a 5 wood into the vegetation and raced the ball onto the green and close to the hole.
That left Woods with 21 feet for eagle. Ames failed to get inside him in three shots and then missed his birdie putt by about three feet.
The eagle putt was knocked close – but not that close – and Ames conceded a tickler of a birdie putt to give Woods his third hole in a row. Woods 3UP.
Hole 4, Par 4 Tee shot found the fairway. Approach shot was hit to 12 feet. Birdie putt was walked in by Tiger.
Ames made a par. Woods 4UP.
Hole 5, Par 3 You’d assume buoyed by the situation in the match, Tiger took on the pin on five – and left himself about 18 inches for birdie.
Ames made a pretty gutsy par, but Woods rolled in his fifth birdie in a row to win another hole. Woods 5UP.
Hole 6, Par 4 If ever a single golf shot could sum the decisions that Tiger Woods was able to make on the golf course, in comparison to the rest of the field – it has to be the tee shot on six.
On the 310 yard, dogleg left par 4, Woods set himself up aiming left and hit the ball over the trees. He landed on a narrow piece of fairway and left himself a 30 yard chip to the hole.
A routine up and down followed, and he walked in his sixth birdie of the day. By this stage, it seemed to have been forgotten that there was someone else involved in the match. Woods 6UP.
Hole 7, Par 4 A relatively routine par from Tiger by all accounts – but given the six holes that had preceded it, taking four shots could be seen as something of an anticlimax.
The birdie train ground to a halt, but the momentum of the match stayed with Woods. Ames could only bogey. Woods 7UP.
Hole 8, Par 5 Driver off the deck for Woods’ approach saw him with a simple chip towards the hole. He flicked his third shot to about 12 inches to record a seventh birdie of the day.
Ames managed a par. Woods 8UP.
Hole 9, Par 4 Both men found the fairway off the tee, but Tiger was about 70 yards in front of his opponent. Neither was able to stick their approaches all that close – playing into the wind.
At least Ames did have the sense to see Tiger knock in his three foot par putt, having made bogey. Woods 9UP.
Hole 10, Par 4 Ames kicked off the back nine with the better tee shot, with Woods finding the right rough. However the ball was sitting up and Tiger managed to find the putting surface.
Sensing the chance to win 10 holes in a row, he raced his birdie putt four feet passed. He made the two putt and had to settle for a halve on what was the final hole of the match. Woods 9&8.