Defending champion Jason Day and former world No.1 Adam Scott bemoaned glacial green speeds after they were eliminated from contention at the World Golf Championships’ Match Play Championship in San Francisco.
But John Senden, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones have no such complaints, with Senden already clinching a place in the round of 16 and the destiny of Leishman and Jones very much in their own hands.
Scott was edged 1-up by England’s Paul Casey while Day was beaten 4&3 by South African Branden Grace on day two to fall to 0-2 in pool play, leaving the high-powered duo ineligible for the weekend.
“I putted so badly over two days and made just three birdies in two days so you’re not going to win a lot of matches that way,” Scott said.
“The greens are so slow, way slower than I thought. I read the tour agronomy report and they were aiming for 12.5 (on the stimp meter) and they are probably nine.
“I don’t know why I struggled to adapt so much but certainly the rhythm of my stroke doesn’t favour putting on slow greens.”
Senden booked his place on Saturday after a clinical 4&3 demolition job of Bill Haas.
A day after dispatching world No.3 Henrik Stenson in 19 holes, Senden overcame an early deficit against Haas and with the help of other results in his pool, his match against Brendon Todd on Friday is a dead rubber. I
“I am very happy to beat another high-ranked player,” Senden said.
“Obviously I still want to win tomorrow, or just play in a way that I feel good and have the momentum still on my side going into Saturday’s elimination.”
Leishman also continued his winning ways by taking down American 22nd seed Ryan Palmer 4&3.
He now faces India’s Anirban Lahiri on Friday knowing a win will move him through while a loss would see him either eliminated or possibly part of a sudden death three-man playoff.
Matt Jones prevailed 2-up against Frenchman Victor Dubuisson to keep his chances alive.
Should he beat former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (2-0) he will move straight into the round of 16 if Dustin Johnson loses to Dubuisson.
The same scenario exists for world No.2 Jordan Spieth, world No.4 Bubba Watson and former US Open winner Webb Simpson.
Spieth faces Lee Westwood, Watson takes on Louis Oosthuizen and Simpson plays Gary Woodland.