MARANA, Ariz. -- Sorta like Tiger Woods and his golf swing, the game itself is seemingly going through a transition period.
Even though the top-rated youngster in the game was trounced on the second day, the round of 16 at the Accenture Match Play Championship will feature more far peachfuzz than it will graybeards.
Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked player in his 20s, was dispatched quickly and emphatically by Ben Crane on Thursday, but the other youngbloods certainly picked up the slack for him.
Of the 16 players to advance to the third round, exactly half the field is in their 20s or younger, led by Italy's unflappably poised Matteo Manassero, 17. The oldest guy in the field of 64 advanced, too -- Spain's inimitable Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is 47.
Given the numbers, it appears that we'll have a fast infusion of fresh faces on the weekend. Of the players still standing, only Jimenez and two-time champion Geoff Ogilvy have ever advanced to the quarterfinals in this event.
There's another newsy wrinkle, too, if that's the right term when talking about the next generation. German star Martin Kaymer, 26, can supplant Lee Westwood as world No. 1 if he advances to the finals on Sunday. Westwood again failed to survive the second round and was bounced Thursday.
Of the 16 players under age 30, Manassero, 23-year-old Jason Day and 22-year Rickie Fowler all are playing in a professional match-play event for the first time.