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Cink, Mickelson need overtime to advance

Associated Press / February 26, 2009
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MARANA, Ariz. - Tiger wasn't the only one playing the Accenture Match Play Championship yesterday.

Stewart Cink was the second match out, and there were only a few dozen fans in the bleachers. His match with Richard Sterne was tied after 18 holes, so they headed back to the first tee - making Tiger Woods and Brendan Jones wait a few extra minutes.

This time, there wasn't an inch of wood available in the bleachers. Fans stood four-deep around the tee box, and they lined the ropes all the way to the green some 460 yards away. It was a bigger crowd than when Cink played Woods in the championship match last year.

"I just told everybody on the first tee that he's waited eight months to play," Cink said. "He can wait two more minutes."

Cink wound up winning his match on the 19th hole, one of five that required overtime.

Phil Mickelson was 4 up on Angel Cabrera with five holes to play until the Argentine caught him, but Lefty birdied the 19th hole to win.

"I was fortunate to win in sudden death, but I'll gladly take it," Mickelson said.

Cabrera trimmed Mickelson's lead with a par on the 14th hole and birdies on the next three holes, squaring the match on the 17th. Both players parred the 18th, with Cabrera rolling in a 10-footer to force sudden death.

"I give him a lot of credit for gutting it out," Mickelson said.

"I was fortunate to come out on top with somebody that was really getting hot there at the end."

Mickelson, ranked fifth in the world, advanced to face Zach Johnson, who beat Graeme McDowell, 3 and 1. Mickelson improved to 14-9 in match play.

Ernie Els ran off three straight birdies late in his match against Soren Hansen for a 4-and-2 victory, advancing to the second round for the first time in seven years. He skipped two years when it was held at La Costa Resort, a course he never liked.

"Glad to get through," Els said.

Other top players were not so fortunate.

Sergio Garcia, the No. 2 seed, lost to Charl Schwartzel on the 18th hole when the Spaniard hit into the bunker and made bogey.

Third-seeded Padraig Harrington, who won the British Open and PGA Championship while Woods was away, arrived at Dove Mountain having missed his last two cuts. This was a short week, too, for he lost to Pat Perez on the 18th hole.

Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas, the faces of the next generation hopeful of challenging Woods, had the shortest days. Kim never lost a hole in beating Lin Wen-Tang of Taiwan, 7 and 5, while Villegas beat Rod Pampling, 7 and 6.

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