- Sports & Recreation
NBA free-agency tracker:
By Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange February 24, 2014 4:14 AM
1. Tiger Woods, United States -- Woods is hoping the game he had in a recent exhibition in India, when he carded 10 birdies in 15 holes, will be with him when he plays this week in the Honda Classic, only his second event on the PGA Tour this season. He finished in a tie for 80th to miss the secondary cut in his title defense at the Farmers Insurance Open, but he said he intentionally is working his way into this season slowly because he was worn out at the end of 2013 due to golf becoming a year-long proposition. ... Tiger is playing in the Honda Classic for only the fourth time, but he came close to winning it two years ago when he closed with an 8-under-par 62 to tie for second, two strokes behind Rory McIlroy. That was one shot off the course record on the Champion Course at PGA National set by Brian Harman two days earlier. Last year, he opened with three consecutive 70s and closed with a 74 to wind up in a tie for 39th. Woods also played in the tournament as an amateur on a sponsor's exemption in 1993, shooting 72-78--148 to miss the cut at Weston Hills. ... Woods confirmed last week that he will play three times on the Florida Swing to get ready for the Masters, also teeing it up next week in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He is defending champion in both. He has won four times at Doral, the WGC event twice and the old Ford Championship twice, and he captured Arnie's tournament at Bay Hill eight times. 2. Adam Scott, Australia -- Scott last played a competitive event six weeks ago, and he is coming back this week to play in the Honda Classic for the fourth time. He also will tee it up next week in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, and that probably will be his last event before defending his title at the Masters. The Aussie went to the less-is-more schedule a few years ago to concentrate on the majors, and it has paid off seven top-10 finishes in the Grand Slam events the past three seasons, including three in 2013. ... Scott's best finish in the Honda was a tie for 11th in 2001, when he played the middle rounds in 68-67 at TPC Heron Bay. He also tied for 65th two years later at on the Sunset Course at Mirasol, where he closed with a 10-under-par 62 to tie the course record. In his only appearance on the Champion Course at PGA National, he shot 77-82--159 to miss the cut by a whopping 13 strokes in 2011. ... Although he need the long break after playing four times in Australia late in 2013 in his triumphant return home as the first player from Down Under to win the Masters, then played twice in Hawaii to start 2014, Scott hopes the rest didn't break his momentum. He finished in the top three in all four events at home, including victories in the Australian Masters and the Australian PGA, before tying for sixth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and tying for eighth in the Sony Open in Hawaii. Counting his victories in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October and the Barclays in August, he has four wins in his past 11 events. 3. Henrik Stenson, Sweden -- With Tiger Woods and Adam Scott staying home, Stenson was the top-seeded player in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but he is not playing close to the way he did when he captured the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai last year. The Swede got past Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, 2 and 1, in the first round, but Louie Oosthuizen eliminated him the next day, 4 and 3. The 2007 Accenture champion had been knocked out in the first round each of the past four years. ... Henrik, who did not finish in the top 25 in his first three tournaments of the season on the Middle East Swing of the European Tour, will try to find his game this week in the Honda Classic, which he is playing for the fourth consecutive year. He has not fared well on the Champion Course at PGA National, breaking the par of 70 only three times in 10 rounds there. Last year, he shot 73-68--141 to miss the cut by one stroke after tying for 21st in 2012 and tying for 43rd in 2011. ... Stenson trailed much of the day in round one of the Accenture against Aphibarnrat before escaping with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes, but he fell behind early against Oosthuizen and couldn't catch up. The South African won the first two holes and three of the first four with two birdies and an 18-foot eagle putt on the second hole. Stenson could win only the sixth hole all day, never getting closer than 2 down the rest of the day. The lead was 3 up again when Stenson missed the green and a 16-footer to save par at No. 12, and Oosthuizen finished things off with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 15th hole. 4. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland -- After polishing off Boo Weekley in the first round, McIlroy trailed for most of the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, and wound up losing to Harris English when he made a double-bogey 6 on the 18th hole. Rory was knocked out in round one last year by his Irish pal Shane Lowry, but he reached the final two years ago before Hunter Mahan beat him 2 and 1. ... McIlroy was making his first appearance on the PGA Tour this year in the Accenture, and he also will play the next two weeks in the Honda Classic in the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He is playing for the fifth consecutive season on the Champion Course at PGA National, where he won the title two years ago by posting four rounds in the 60s to finish two strokes ahead of Tiger Woods and Tom Gillis. Last year as defending champion, he walked off in the middle of the second round complaining of a toothache, but he later admitted he simply was frustrated with his game. ... McIlroy never led in his second-round match in the Accenture until making birdie on the 16th hole. However, English who had his second 2-up lead of the match after 13 holes, tied it up with a 19-foot birdie putt on the next hole and hung on to advance. Rory was 2 down after making a bogey at the 10th and conceding the 11th when he had two penalty strokes in the desert, putting English 2 up. McIlroy rallied with three straight birdies to take the lead, but he couldn't finish. In round one, Rory had a 4-up lead over Weekley after 11 holes before getting a little sloppy, but he had enough to hold on and advance. 5. Phil Mickelson, United States -- After skipping the last two events of the West Coast Swing, the Northern Trust Open and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, for some family time, Lefty returns to the PGA Tour this week for the Honda Classic. He has won 19 times in California and Arizona, and most years he heads to the Florida Swing with at least one victory, but he played only three times in his two favorite states this year, and his best finish was a tie for ninth in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. ... Hopefully, the time off took care of the back problem that forced him to withdraw from Farmers Insurance Open after round two. Because of his light schedule on the West Coast, he is playing in the Honda for only the fourth time, and the first time since 2002. Mickelson finished in a tie for 11th that year at TPC Heron Bay, shooting 66-68 in the middle rounds. He also tied for 27th on the same course a year earlier, and in 1995 he shot 70-76--146 to miss the cut by two strokes at Weston Hills. This will be his first appearance on the Champion Course at PGA National. ... The schedule page at philmickelson.com lists only the WGC-Cadillac Championship, which he won in 2009, as a future event. However, he also could play before the Masters in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won in 1997, and he almost surely will tee it up in the Shell Houston Open for the seventh consecutive season before heading to Augusta the next week. He almost always plays the week before a major, and he won in Houston in 2009. 6. Zach Johnson, United States -- Obviously, Johnson was a bit rusty after taking a month off, but he would have had to play very well to beat Richard Sterne of South Africa, who routed him, 5 and 4, in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. The South African carded six birdies in 14 holes and made Johnson, No. 1 in the Sam Snead bracket, the first top-seeded player eliminated. It was the fourth consecutive year he was knocked out in round one, and his record in the event fell to 7-10. ... Zach had several extra days to work on his game ahead of the Honda Classic, which he is playing for only the third time. He tied for 13th in 2004 at Mirasol, where a 5-over-par 75 in the second round cost him a top-10 finish, and tied for 30th in 2008, shooting 68-69 in the middle rounds in his only appearance on the Champion Course at PGA National, now the tournament venue. Johnson, who has won three times since last September, is expected to play three times on the Florida Swing for the 11th consecutive year to get his game back where he wants it ahead of the Masters, which he won in 2007. ... Zach led only after making a birdie on the second hole in his lone match in the Accenture. The 16th-seeded Sterne took command by the turn with birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh holes, going 3 up when Zach made bogey at No. 9. After Johnson rallied briefly by winning the 10th with a birdie, the South African wrapped things up with birdies on the 11th, 13th and 14th, where his 6-footer won it. 7. Jimmy Walker, United States -- Playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time, Walker rolled past Branden Grace of South Africa, 5 and 4, in the first round before Rickie Fowler knocked him out, 1 up, in a terrific match the next day. Walker is the FedEx Cup points leader with three victories, and he continued to play well at Dove Mountain, but that is the way it can go in match play even if a golfer has his best game. ... Walker already has played in 10 events this season, including six since the start of the new year, so he is going to skip the Honda Classic this week, perhaps because he has never placed in the top 30 in his seven previous appearances at PGA National. He will be back next week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the third WGC event of his career. In the first, he tied for 46th in the WGC-HSBC Champions last October. ... Neither player led more than 1 up in Walker's match against Fowler, who erased a deficit by winning the 16th hole with a birdie and the 17th with a par before holing a six-foot par putt on the final hole to move on. Walker took a 1-up lead with a tap-in birdie on No. 14, but that was the last of his five birdies. Walker was in command from the start against Grace, carding birdies on three of the first five holes and winning the eighth with a par to go 4 up. The South African won only the 11th hole, with a birdie, but Walker finished him off with birdies on the 13th and 14th holes. 8. Justin Rose, England -- Considering he was playing for only the second time this year and coming off a shoulder injury, Rose played well in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where it took a miracle chip shot by Ernie Els on the 20th hole to beat him round two. However, the Englishman still has made it past the second round only once in eight appearances in the tournament, when he tied for fifth in 2005. ... Trying to make up for lost time after the late start to his season, Rose is going to make it three weeks in a row on the PGA Tour when he plays in the Honda Classic. He will be making his ninth appearance in the tournament, and he has made a run at the title in each of the last three. In 2010, he played the weekend in 67-64 to finish third, although he was six shots behind winner Camilo Villegas. In 2012, he started with 66-66 to tie for the lead before shooting 71-70 on the weekend to tie for fifth, five strokes behind champion Rory McIlroy. Last year, he started 66-68, but he shot 72-71 the last two days to leave him in a tie for fourth, six shots behind winner Michael Thompson. ... Rose and Els made nearly identical 9-foot birdie putts on the first extra hole of their match in the Accenture, but on what proved to be the final hole, Rosy needed two shots to escape a greenside bunker and Els won with a 4-foot birdie putt. Rose was 1 up before losing the 17th with a bogey, and they halved No. 18. In round one, Rose got past Scott Piercy, 1 up. 9. Dustin Johnson, United States -- When the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship is played next year, it wouldn't be a surprise to see DJ take a pass as some of the other top players have done over the years, since he has been eliminated in round one five times in his six appearances in the event. This time it was Peter Hanson of Sweden who sent him packing, 4 and 3. The only time he advanced was 2012, when he reached the quarterfinals before light-hitting Mark Wilson knocked out the power hitter, 4 and 3. ... Johnson is passing this week on the Honda Classic and will return next week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. In his only two appearances at the Honda, both at PGA National, he shot 75-74--149 to miss the cut by four strokes in 2008, and he tied for 46th last year, when he shot 4-under-par 66 in round one, the only time he broke 70 in six rounds on the Champion Course. That probably influenced his decision to stay home this week. ... Hanson won the first hole with a birdie and never trailed in his upset of the second-seeded Johnson in the Accenture. DJ, a runner-up in his previous two stroke-play events, squared the match with his second and final birdie of the match on the fourth hole. Hanson holed a 5-footer for birdie at the fifth to regain the lead, and was 3 up at the turn after Johnson made double bogey from the desert on the seventh and the Swede won the ninth with an 11-foot birdie putt. Hanson lost the 11th hole with his only bogey, but it was virtually over when Johnson made bogeys on the 13th and 14th to give the Swede a 4-up lead. 10. Matt Kuchar, United States -- Defend his title in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Kuchar knocked off Bernd Wiesberger of Austria in the first round and Ryan Moore in the second, stretching his winning streak to eight matches in the event, in which he had won 11 of the 12 times. Then he ran into red-hot Jordan Spieth, who reeled off nine birdies while sending the defending champ to a 2-and-1 defeat. ... Kooch has played in the Honda Classic nine times previously, and he claimed his first PGA Tour victory in the event in 2002 at TPC Heron Bay. However, he has finished no better than a tie for 17th in 2011 on the Champion Course at PGA National, so he is skipping the tournament and will return next week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. ... Kuchar carried a 17-3 Accenture record into his match with Spieth, but it didn't matter to the 20-year-old. Kuchar took his only lead with an eagle on the second hole, but the kid made three birdies in a span of four holes to go 2 up at the turn before winning the 10th with a par. Spieth gave two back at Nos. 11 and 12 by first hitting out of bounds and then into a bunker, but he finished things off with an 11-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole after Kuchar missed from 29 feet. Kuchar won the first hole and never trailed against Wiesberger, winning four consecutive holes through No. 12 en route to a 3-and-2 victory. Against Moore, he was 1 down after nine holes, but he won the 13th and 15th with birdies on his way to winning 1 up. 11. Brandt Snedeker, United States -- Sneds came from 2 down after 13 holes to slip past David Lynn of England on the 20th hole in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but he could not stay with Webb Simpson on day two and went home after a 4-and-3 defeat. He continues to search for the form that made him the best player on the West Coast Swing a year ago until sustaining a strained intercostal muscle that knocked him out of the field for the Accenture. ... Having played seven times on the PGA Tour in the 2013-14 season, including five times in the new year, Snedeker will take a break this week and skip the Honda Classic. He hasn't played that well on the Champion Course at PGA National anyway, with a tie for 39th in his first appearance in 2007 his best result in four appearances. Sneds will return next week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. ... Simpson took control from the outset against Snedeker, winning four of the first six holes with birdies, one on a concession after Snedeker drove into the water on the par-3 third hole. Snedeker won the eighth hole with a 7-foot birdie putt and the 10th when Simpson made his only bogey. However, the 2012 U.S. Open champion restored his 4-up lead with birdie putts of six feet on the 11th and 20 feet on the 13th, and the match was over when both birdied the 15th. Snedeker won the 14th and 17th holes with birdies to pull even with Lynn in round one, and he wrapped up the victory with another birdie on the second playoff hole. 12. Jason Dufner, United States -- After getting through the first two rounds of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship with victories over Scott Stallings and Matteo Manassero of Italy, Dufner fell on the 18th hole when Ernie Els hit his approach to within 2 feet for a winning birdie. At least he got past the first round after going out on the opening day in each of his first two appearances at Dove Mountain. ... Having played seven times in the 2013-14 season, including the last two weeks, Dufner is going to pass on the Honda Classic ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship next week at Doral. He hasn't played well on the Champion Course at PGA National the last few years anyway, tying for 51st both last year and in 2011, in addition to tying for 40th four years ago. His best finish was a tie for ninth in 2009. He tied for 13th two years earlier. ... Dufner missed a 24-foot birdie putt on the 18th against Els, which would have sent their match in the Accenture to extra holes. The American took an early 2-up lead with a birdie on the second hole and a par on the third as Els made bogey. However, Duf made bogeys to lose the next two holes and never led again. He was 2 down going to the 17th but got a momentary reprieve when Els made bogey before winning the match on No. 18. Dufner won the last three holes, two with birdies, to beat Manassero 2 and 1. He was 3 down to Stallings after 13 holes but won four of the last six, including the 19th with a par. 13. Jason Day, Australia -- Seemingly coasting to the title in WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, never trailing over his last 53 holes, Day ran into stubborn Frenchman Victor Dubuisson in the final. After building a 3-up lead through 12 holes, the Aussie watched Dubuisson come from behind to get close with 13-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole. The Frenchman caught up when Day missed a 9-footer for par on the 18th. That sent the match into overtime, where Dubuisson made two miraculous par saves out of cactus bushes on the 19th and 20th holes. Day finally prevailed by sinking a 4-foot birdie putt on the 23rd hole. ... Day played in several events at home in Australia late last year, including his victory in the individual standings of the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne, and he got off to a late start on the PGA Tour. His tie for second in the Farmers Insurance Open and his performance in the Accenture show that he has his game where he wants it with the Masters on the horizon. He is skipping the Honda Classic but will play next week in the WGC-Cadillac Championship. ... Day beat Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, Billy Horschel, George Coetzee of South Africa, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Rickie Fowler en route to the Accenture final. Before facing Dubuisson, his toughest match came when Horschel built a 3-up lead through nine holes, but the Aussie rallied to win with a birdie on the 22nd hole. Although he has made a habit of showing up near the top of leaderboards in big events, it was only Day's second PGA Tour victory, the other coming in the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship. 14. Jordan Spieth, United States -- The 20-year-old made a nice run while playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time last week, beating Pablo Larrazabal of Spain, Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and defending champion Matt Kuchar before Ernie Els, 44, took him down, 4 and 2, in the quarterfinals. The kid showed his frustration while never leading against Els, and he later took to Twitter to apologize to his fans for acting like a "13-year-old." ... Spieth has played seven times on the PGA Tour in the 2013-14 season, including six events since the first of the year, so he is passing this week on the opening event of the Florida Swing, the Honda Classic. Other than his missed cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he has not finished outside the top 20, and he has three top-10 results. Next week, he will make his first appearance in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, and it will be only his third outing in the World Golf Championships. ... Spieth trailed only three times, and was never more than 1 down, while beating Larrazabal, 2 up; Bjorn, 5 and 4, and Kuchar, 2 and 1, but he never had the lead against Els. The Big Easy, after struggling through his three earlier victories, had his best stuff against Spieth, winning three of the last five holes to advance to the semifinals. After carding nine birdies the day before against Kuchar, Jordan could manage only four in the quarterfinals, and he needed all of them to stay in the match as long as he did because he also recorded five bogeys. 15. Webb Simpson, United States -- After getting past Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Brandt Snedeker in the first two rounds of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Simpson had virtually no chance in round three the way Louis Oosthuizen played. The South African was 6 under par through 14 holes and sent Simpson down the road with a 5-and-4 victory, leaving him with a 5-3 overall record in the event after he reached the quarterfinals last year. ... Simpson missed the cut in his first two appearances in the Honda Classic, in 2009 and 2010, before he tied for 24th in 2011, when he shot 3-under-par 67 in round two, the only time he broke par in eight rounds on the Champion Course at PGA National. Perhaps that is why he is taking a pass on the tournament this week for the third straight year. He will return next week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. ... Oosthuizen won the second hole with an eagle as Simpson made birdie in their match at the Accenture, but Webb responded with two more birdies at Nos. 4 and 5 to take his only lead of the match. Oosthuizen squared the match with a 19-foot birdie putt on the next hole and took control by winning four of the next five, holing a 17-foot for birdie at No. 11 to take a 4-up lead. Oosty basically wrapped it up with a two-putt birdie from 41 feet at the 13th hole. Simpson overcame an early 2-down deficit against Jaidee by winning four of six holes through No. 10 en route to a 3-and-2 victory. Against Snedeker, he was 4 up through six holes thanks to four birdies, on his way to winning 4 and 3. 16. Bubba Watson, United States -- Coming off his victory in the Northern Trust Open a week earlier, Watson played well in beating Mikko Ilonen of Finland and Jonas Blixt of Sweden in the first two rounds of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. However, unheralded Victor Dubuisson of France surprised him with a 1-up victory in the third round. Watson owns a 9-5 overall record in the event. ... Even though he is a native of the Sunshine State and lives in the Orlando area, Bubba is skipping the first event of the Florida Swing, the Honda Classic, after playing four times on the West Coast, and he will be back next week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. He has played only once at PGA National, opening with a 3-under-par 67 in 2010 before following with three consecutive 73s. ... After putting so well in his victory at Riviera a week earlier, Watson lost his touch on the greens, especially in his loss to Dubuisson. The Frenchman had to make only two birdies to win because Bubba had trouble getting the ball into the hole until it was too late. Dubuisson took a 3-up lead with a par on the 14th hole and finished with three pars to win it even though Watson carded birdies on the 15th and 17th holes. Watson won three of the first four holes in round two on his way to a 2-up victory over Blixt. In round one, he was 2 down to Ilonen after 12 holes but won four of the next five with birdies to claim a 2-and-1 victory. 17. Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland -- G-Mac made like Houdini for the first three rounds of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but he couldn't do it against Victor Dubuisson of France, who beat him 1 up in the quarterfinals. He won the Volvo World Match Play title a year ago in Bulgaria and is getting closer in the WGC event, finishing in a tie for fifth for the second straight year. ... McDowell headed back to his U.S. home in Lake Nona, Fla., and is expected to play three times on the Florida Swing, starting this week in the Honda Classic. He is teeing it up on the Champion Course at PGA National for the sixth time, and he finished in the top 10 each of the past three years. G-Mac's best result was a tie for sixth in 2011, when he closed with a 6-under-par 64. He also tied for ninth the last two years. He posted another 64 in the second round two years ago, and a year ago he opened 67-68 before playing the weekend in 73-70. ... McDowell never led until the final hole in his three victories in the Accenture, beating Gary Woodland on the 19th hole, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, 1 up, and Hunter Mahan on the 21st hole. Then he had a 2-up lead over Dubuisson after three holes and could not hold on. The Frenchman took the lead with birdies on the fourth, seventh and ninth holes, but getting up and down for par to win the 16th proved to be the difference, as they halved the last two holes. McDowell made a series of clutch putts the first three days, but he missed a 24-foot birdie try that would have taken Dubuisson to extra holes. 18. Patrick Reed, United States -- In his first appearance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Reed got past Graham DeLaet of Canada, 1 up, before George Coetzee of South Africa needed 21 holes to beat him in the second round. Reed lost despite carding five birdies (plus eight bogeys), blowing the 2-up lead he held after 11 holes, because he could not make par on the 18th hole. ... Reed has played eight times in the 2013-14 season, including five in the new year, and he will keep going this week in the Honda Classic. In his first appearance on the Champion Course at PGA National last year, he opened with a 3-under-par 67, but he struggled home in 73-75-73 to wind up in a tie for 58th. Next week, he will make his first appearance in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. ... Reed was 2 down against Coetzee after six holes in their match in the Accenture, but he turned things his way by winning four of the next five holes, two with birdies. He needed par on the last hole to win, but he could not get up and down from a greenside bunker. After they halved the first extra hole with bogeys and the second with pars, Reed missed his 34-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole before Coetzee made his from 7 feet to move on. In round one, Reed was 2 down to DeLaet through six holes but didn't lose another hole and claimed the victory by winning the seventh, 12th, 14th and 17th, the last two with birdies. Reed carded only one bogey, on the fifth hole. 19. Sergio Garcia, Spain -- Garcia can't win for losing, getting criticism and praise for conceding a 17-foot par putt to Rickie Fowler and eventually losing his third-round match, 1 down, in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. The Spaniard, who held a 3-up lead after seven holes, said he made the controversial move because he felt guilty for taking so long to take two drops on the previous hole, making his opponent wait before missing a birdie putt. ... Sergio is playing this week in the Honda Classic for only the third time and will be trying to crack the top 10 on the Champion Course at PGA National for the first time. His best result was a tie for 13th in 2008, when he opened with a 3-under-par 67 and closed with a 68. He also tied for 43rd in 2008, and he tied for 50th in 2010 despite playing the middle rounds in 69-69. ... Garcia did not win a hole after building his 3-up lead over Fowler, who won it with birdies on the ninth, 10th, 16th and 18th holes. After carding three birdies in the first eight holes, Garcia had only one on the back nine, when they halved the 11th hole. Sergio was 2 down to Marc Leishman of Australia after three holes in round one, but he won the match with a 6-foot birdie putt on the 22nd hole. In round two, he was 2 down to Bill Haas after seven holes but won five of the last seven holes, three of them with birdies, to pull out a 2-and-1 victory. 20. Keegan Bradley, United States -- For the second straight year, Bradley was eliminated in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, with Jonas Blixt of Sweden sending him home, 2 and 1. Last year, it was Marcus Fraser of Australia who sent him to an early exit, 1 down, and he has a 1-3 record in the event, having reached the second round only in 2011 before losing to Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, 2 and 1. ... Bradley will try to bounce back this week when he tees it up in the Honda Classic for the fourth consecutive year. He recorded his best result at on the Champion Course at PGA National a year ago, when he tied for fourth, starting with 68-68 and playing the weekend in 70-71 to wind up six strokes behind winner Michael Thompson. He also tied for 12th in the Honda two years ago, when he opened with 67-68-68 but shot 3-over-par 73 in the final round. He shot 76-71--147 to miss the cut by one stroke in 2011. ... Bradley held a 1-up lead over Blixt through 10 holes before the Swede won the next three holes, the first with a 3-foot birdie putt and the next two when Keegan carded bogeys. Blixt stretched his lead to 3 up with a 4-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole before Bradley's last gasp, an unlikely 49-foot birdie putt at No. 16. The match was over when both made par on the penultimate hole, where Bradley was unable to extend it to the 18th by missing an 8-foot putt for birdie. Others receiving consideration: Ernie Els, South Africa; Jim Furyk, United States; Lee Westwood, England; Luke Donald, England; Bill Haas, United States; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Hunter Mahan, United States; Ryan Moore, United States; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Harris English, United States; Ian Poulter, England; Scott Stallings, United States; Graham DeLaet, Canada; Kevin Stadler, United States.