Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson, with a combined three Masters wins, will battle each other Thursday.
They posted first-round wins Wednesday in the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Ariz.
Cedar Rapids native Johnson eliminated Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, 3 and 1, ending the match with a birdie on the 17th hole. Johnson had seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.
Two-time Masters winner Mickelson put on a performance that was similar to his effort in winning the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open Sunday. He blew a nice lead (three holes), but pulled out the win.
Angel Cabrera rallied to push Mickelson into extra holes, but Lefty birdied the first extra hole and 2007 U.S. Open winner Cabrera managed only a par.
Johnson improved his career record in this event to 6-3. Mickelson is 14-9. Johnson finished third in 2006. Mickelson’s best finish is a tie for fifth in 2004.
Mickelson is the No. 5 seed in the 64-player event. Johnson, who won the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in January, is the No. 28 seed.
The tee time for Thursday’s matches hadn’t been set as of mid-afternoon Wednesday. The Golf Channel’s telecast of Thursday’s play runs from 1 to 5 p.m., Iowa time, with a replay from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.