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Westwood to step up in Match Play with McIlroy set for exit

| 24.02.2012

David Toms was the only player to spoil our second-round WGC Accenture Match Play accumulator and we are hoping that Rory McIlroy is not responsible for denying us a 28/1 payout from the third-round matches.

McIlroy will know that he can become world number one with a victory in the tournament and prior to arriving secured nine top-five finishes in his last ten starts.

However, he has not been at his sharpest at Dove Mountain so far and could come unstuck against Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is one of the steadiest players around and has already upset Sergio Garcia and 2011 major winner Keegan Bradley in the opening two rounds.

If McIlroy does exit, it could also open the door for Lee Westwood to replace Luke Donald at the head of the world rankings.

Westwood is currently enjoying his best Match Play performance in 12 appearances and will have revenge solely on his mind against Nick Watney, who has eliminated him from this event in each of the past two years.

The Englishman only missed two fairways in beating Robert Karlsson in round two, while Watney will have gained confidence from dumping out Tiger Woods, albeit that it was largely because Woods had a major off day with his putter.

Elsewhere, Dustin Johnson’s big hitting has already proved too much for Jim Furyk and Francesco Molinari and the relative short drives of Mark Wilson may also put too much pressure on his shoulders from back down fairways to find greens in regulation.

In the all-Scottish clash, Martin Laird has been impressive with 14 birdies already in the tournament and can get the better of elder statesman Paul Lawrie.

Finally, John Senden has arguably been the most impressive player in the event to date and ranks particularly highly in some valuable PGA Tour statistics, including total driving and scoring average.

But he is due a bad round and if Sang-moon Bae can stay in touch on the front nine at Ritz-Carlton, he can add to his victories over former Match Play champion Ian Poulter and reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.

WGC Accenture Match Play accumulator

Dustin Johnson to beat Mark Wilson @ 8/15
Lee Westwood to beat Nick Watney @ 8/11
Martin Laird to beat Paul Lawrie @ 4/5
Sang-moon Bae to beat John Senden @ 6/5
Miguel Angel Jimenez to beat Rory McIlroy @ 13/8



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.