Friday at the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play was originally scheduled for third round Sweet 16 matches. Instead, the morning will start with the first round still needing to wrap so the field can officially be cut in half to 32.
The Wednesday afternoon snowstorm, and subsequent flurries later that evening, delayed play for a full 24 hours at the start of the tournament. The PGA Tour continually pushed back the start time on Thursday as they waited for the course to thaw out and become playable. The eventual 1 p.m. local start time ensured that not all first round matches would finish, and there are still two that will need to be completed first thing Friday morning.
Rickie Fowler, who is 1-down with only the 18th to play, will attempt to push his match with Carl Pettersson to extra holes. Francesco Molinari and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano went off in the final match on Thursday, and they're all square through 15 holes. It's surprising that those are the only two left, given the near total darkness that both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods opted to continue to start in what would be their final holes of the week.
The current plan set out by Mark Russell and the PGA Tour is to clean up those two matches early in the morning and resume play at approximately 11:20 a.m. ET (or 9:20 a.m. in Tucson). There are no plans to try and catch up and start any matches beyond those in the second round. If everything goes according to plan Friday morning, the PGA Tour will likely send off those 16 matches in 12-minute intervals. With all those variables in mind, here's the tentative schedule for Friday morning (we'll update as soon as things are firmed up, but this is how it should go):
|33||11:20 a.m.||No. 2 Justin Rose||No. 10 Nicolas Colsaerts||Hogan|
|34||11:32 a.m.||No. 3 Sergio Garcia||No. 6 Matt Kuchar||Hogan|
|35||11:44 a.m.||No. 10 Thorbjorn Olesen||No. 15 Tim Clark||Snead|
|36||11:56 a.m.||No. 3 Ian Poulter||No. 6 Bo Van Pelt||Snead|
|37||12:08 p.m.||No. 2 Bubba Watson||No. 7 Jim Furyk||Jones|
|38||12:20 p.m.||No. 11 Jason Day||No. 14 Russell Henley||Jones|
|39||12:32 p.m.||No. 6 Hunter Mahan||No. 14 Richard Sterne||Player|
|40||12:44 p.m.||No. 7 Martin Kaymer||No. 15 Rafael Cabrera Bello||Player|
|41||12:56 p.m.||No. 1 Louis Oosthuizen||No. 9 Robert Garrigus||Hogan|
|42||1:08 p.m.||No. 12 Fredrik Jacobson||No. 13 Marcus Fraser||Hogan|
|43||1:20 p.m.||No. 1 Luke Donald||No. 9 Scott Piercy||Snead|
|44||1:32 p.m.||No. 4 Steve Stricker||No. 5 Nick Watney||Snead|
|45||1:44 p.m.||No. 9 Carl Pettersson||No. 16 Shane Lowry||Jones|
|46||1:56 p.m.||No. 5 Graeme McDowell||No. 13 Alexander Noren||Jones|
|47||2:08 p.m.||No. 8 G. Fernandez-Castano||No. 16 Charles Howell III||Player|
|48||2:20 p.m.||No. 4 Webb Simpson||No. 5 Peter Hanson||Player|
If that schedule holds, the second round matches should conclude around 6 p.m. ET, leaving the Tour two extra hours before darkness hits in Tucson. There will be no attempt to try and start the third round on Friday, with Russell and Tour officials opting to double up and play two rounds on both Saturday and Sunday.
If there are no more weather delays, they will likely be able to sneak in a Sunday finish. Obviously, the field is cut in half as each round concludes so playing the 3rd round and quarterfinals on Saturday, and then the final 4 and championship match on Sunday (as originally scheduled) is doable. The winning player will just have to go on an approximate 72-hole slog over two days to earn his WGC title.
Golf Channel will continue their coverage from Dove Mountain on Friday and is scheduled to come on the air at 1 p.m. ET. The broadcast is set to run until 6 p.m. ET, or until all the matches conclude. The afternoon coverage was ideally supposed to spotlight Woods and McIlroy, but both superstars were bounced out in the first round late Thursday. They'll hopefully have Rickie Fowler, along with Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell, to follow in the afternoon. In addition to the television coverage, GC will also have a livestream starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.
For a live bracket, visit Golf.com.
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