Carlsbad, Calif. Sergio Garcia proved to be the best 22-year-old in the Match Play Championship. And with another string of surprises Thursday, the Spaniard suddenly became the man to beat. A battle between two of the youngest stars in golf turned into a brawl down the stretch, with the fourth-seeded Garcia beating Charles Howell III 1-up in the second round.
Former Kansas University golfer Matt Gogel won his second-round match. Gogel defeated Steve Lowery in 20 holes. Gogel will play Tom Lehman today.
One day after top seeds Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval made early exits, they were joined by nearly all of the other top 10 seeds.
Fifth-seeded Ernie Els squandered a 3-up lead at the turn to Lehman, and lost on the 19th hole when he missed a 4-foot par putt. Jose Maria Olazabal beat U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, seeded seventh, 1-up; Paul Azinger edged No. 8 Davis Love III 1-up, and Nicklas Fasth beat No. 9 Vijay Singh 3 and 2.