This week: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Wednesday through Sunday, Ritz-Carlton Golf Course at Dove Mountain, Marana, Ariz.
Fourth-round match: The 12th-seeded Moore lost to No. 3 seed Luke Donald, 5 and 4, in the finals of the Bobby Jones bracket.
Recap: Amid swirling wind and much cooler desert temperatures, Moore ran into a scorching buzzsaw in Donald, who arguably holds the most impressive international match-play credentials with a 15-3-1 record in Ryder Cup and Walker Cup play. The Englishman, who never trailed in the match, made seven birdies in his convincing triumph, mixing in spot-on wedge play with clutch mid-range putting, especially from 12 feet and in. Donald went 2 up when he holed out a 20-yard pitch shot for birdie from the fairway on the sixth hole, then earned another hole when he canned a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 8. Moore was not as sharp as Friday when he took down Nick Watney in 19 holes, missing a 5-foot par saver at the ninth to go 4 down, and lost the next hole when Donald made yet another 12-footer for birdie. When Moore finally made a mini-surge – he won the 11th hole with an eagle – Donald denied him a couple holes by making par putts (11 feet at No. 12, 7 feet at No. 13) at the 12th and 13th holes. And Donald closed out the match by landed a wedge approach at the 14th hole close, sinking a 9-footer for his final birdie. “I played nicely,” Donald said. “I made a bunch of birdies, and made it tough on Ryan.” By making the quarterfinals, Moore will jump up to a career best in the world rankings next week (projected 35th or so).
Moore quoteworthy: “I knew I had to play well against him. I just made him a little too comfortable. I didn’t put too much pressure on him early on and kind of gave a couple of holes to him. You can’t give holes away. I did that a couple of times early and let him pad his lead and from there I think he just cruised.”
Next: WGC-Cadillac Championship starting March 10 at TPC Blue Monster of Doral in Miami.