Youth has taken over the Accenture Match Play. After Thursday's second round, eight of the 16 remaining players left in the field are under the age of 30, including two that are under the age of 23. If you were one of "those guys" railing on the golf's younger generation for never stepping up to the plate ... well, this might be the week you change your mind about the future of the game being in good hands.
But lost amongst the talk of a youth movement in golf, there's still one old dude who's quietly going about his business, and that guy is Miguel Angel Jimenez. At 47-years-old, Jimenez is the oldest remaining player in the field, and has more experience than almost every name left in the bracket. With the exception of Geoff Ogilvy, he's the only other player to have ever advanced to the quarterfinals of the event.
While other Euros were off blasting the Golf Channel for being the all-American golf network, Jimenez was flying under the radar, disposing of Ryan Palmer, 4 & 2, in one of the ugliest matches of the second round. The highlights included neither player carding an offical birdie until the 13th hole. Maybe it was a good thing his round didn't garner much fanfare.
Jimenez may have a flashy persona off the course -- he has an affinity for fine wines, cigars, and fast cars -- but he's all business once he puts the peg in the ground. He's showing us, once again, that you can be successful at match play by winning ugly. He's looked far from stellar in his first two matches, but he's always found a way to dig deep and make the clutch putts when he needs them.
Who knows, maybe Jimenez can help the old guys pull one over on the young guys. He may be their last hope, but with the way he's been grinding out matches in the first two rounds, I wouldn't bet against him making it to the weekend. Plus, you never go against a guy with the nickname "The Mechanic."