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Stephen Ames draws Tiger in revised Match Play draw

The revised draw for this week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa Resort and Spa was announced on Monday, pairing Tiger Woods with Canada's Stephen Ames in the opening round.

World number one Woods was initially pitted against Briton Graeme McDowell but the withdrawal of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn with a sore neck forced a reshuffle in Wednesday's first round matches.

Bjorn is the second leading European to pull out of the opening World Golf Championships (WGC) event of the year. World number six Sergio Garcia of Spain decided not to compete.

Northern Irishman McDowell, who will now take on world number two Vijay Singh, had relished the prospect of facing 10-times major winner Woods.

"It's always a great opportunity to play the best player in the world and, in head-to-head, anything can happen," McDowell told Reuters.

"It's pretty well documented what a great match play record Tiger has. But I feel I'm a pretty good match player myself.

"Plus we all know if he's vulnerable, he's vulnerable in the first round, there's no doubt about it."

Woods, champion at La Costa in 2003 and 2004, suffered a surprise first-round defeat in 2002 and lost to Australia's Nick O'Hern in the second round last year.

In other first-round matches, world number three Retief Goosen will face Briton Paul Broadhurst and fourth-ranked Ernie Els will take on 2004 European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer.

World number five Phil Mickelson, winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship at Baltusrol, starts out against fellow American Charles Howell III.

Holder David Toms, who crushed Chris DiMarco 6&5 in last year's final, will meet British Ryder Cup player Ian Poulter, a semi-finalist at La Costa 12 months ago.

First round draw (prefix numbers denote seedings):

1-Tiger Woods (U.S.) v 64-Stephen Ames (Canada)

32-Robert Allenby (Australia) v 33-K.J. Choi (South Korea)

16-Henrik Stenson (Sweden) v 49-Paul Casey (Britain)

17-Chad Campbell (U.S.) v 48-Tim Herron (U.S.)

8-David Toms (U.S.) v 57-Ian Poulter (Britain)

25-Jose Maria Olazabal (Spain) v 40-Brandt Jobe (U.S.)

9-Adam Scott (Australia) v 56-Lucas Glover (U.S.)

24-Stuart Appleby (Australia) v 41-Tom Lehman (U.S.)

4-Ernie Els (South Africa) v 61-Bernhard Langer (Germany)

29-Stewart Cink (U.S.) v 36-Mike Weir (Canada)

13-Michael Campbell (New Zealand) v 52-Geoff Ogilvy (Australia)

20-Nick O'Hern (Australia) v 45-Fred Funk (U.S.)

5-Phil Mickelson (U.S.) v 60-Charles Howell III (U.S.)

28-Bart Bryant (U.S.) v 37-John Daly (U.S.)

12-David Howell (Britain) v 53-Steve Elkington (Australia)

21-Scott Verplank (U.S.) v 44-Lee Westwood (Britain)

2-Vijay Singh (Fiji) v 63-Graeme McDowell (Britain)

31-Rory Sabbatini (South Africa) v 34-Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain)

15-Angel Cabrera (Argentina) v 50-Peter Lonard (Australia)

18-Padraig Harrington (Ireland) v 47-Rod Pampling (Australia)

7-Chris DiMarco (U.S.) v 58-Mark Calcavecchia (U.S.)

26-Tim Clark (South Africa) v 39-Arron Oberholser (U.S.))

10-Kenny Perry (U.S.) v 55-Carl Pettersson (Sweden)

23-Davis Love III (U.S.) v 42-Mark Hensby (Australia)

3-Retief Goosen (South Africa) v 62-Paul Broadhurst (Britain)

30-Justin Leonard (U.S.) v 35-Ben Crane (U.S.)

14-Luke Donald (Britain) v 51-Richard Green (Australia)

19-Darren Clarke (Britain) v 46-Shigeki Maruyama (Japan)

6-Jim Furyk (U.S.) v 59-Zach Johnson (U.S.)

27-Fred Couples (U.S) v 38-Sean O'Hair (U.S.)

11-Colin Montgomerie (Britain) v 54-Niclas Fasth (Sweden)

22-Paul McGinley (Ireland) v 43-Shingo Katayama (Japan)

February 21, 2006

 




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