Thursday, February 21

No. 3 Seeds Dufner and Schwartzel Fall at Match Play

Early exit for Jason Dufner. (Allison)
IT'S EARLY, VERY EARLY, BUT A PAIR of No. 3 seeds have fallen at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at wintry Dove Mountain near Tucson, Arizona. In the Bobby Jones bracket, Russell Henley knocked out Charl Schwartzel, 1-up. And in the Gary Player bracket, Richard Sterne sent Jason Dufner packing, also by a 1-up margin.

Sterne opened a big lead and then had trouble closing out Dufner.

"Match play is a strange game and it showed today," Sterne said at PGATour.com. "I was 4 up and then suddenly I was struggling to finish the match off. That just shows you a few birdies at the right time for somebody else can put a lot of pressure on."

Two days ago I picked Dufner to win it all. I thought Jason might be under the radar a bit, and I couldn't help but think about how impressive he was at the Ryder Cup. Last year I picked the winner, Hunter Mahan, BEFORE THE MATCHES STARTED. Yes, I was lucky. Not this year, though.

From the Bobby Jones bracket, other first-round winners are Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Jason Day, who ran away from Zach Johnson, winning 6 and 5. Hard to believe that margin since Johnson is such a solid match player, but anything can happen.

Defending champion Mahan also won his opener in the Gary Player bracket. Tim Clark, Ian Poulter, Bo Van Pelt and Thorbjorn Olesen won their matches in the Sam Snead bracket. Justin Rose, Nicolas Colsaerts, Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar advanced in the Ben Hogan bracket.

Most of the 32 matches are still in progress.

1 comment :

X Hot Club man said...

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, two number 1 seeds both bit the dust today. Unlike the NCAA basketball tournament, it's not unusual to have a 16 seed beat a 1 seed.

I only wish Tiger and Rory could have stayed around a while longer.

Too bad for Accenture and TV ratings.