32 players are moving on after day one of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Three of the four number one seeds have survived. Henrik Stenson defeated Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2&1, Justin Rose defeated Scott Piercy 1-up, and Rory McIlroy defeated Boo Weekley 3&2. Zach Johnson’s loss to Richard Sterne was a total bracket bruiser.
There were a few notable upsets on day one: George Coetzee (#14) defeated Steve Stricker (#3) 3&1, Rickie Fowler (#14) defeated Ian Poulter (#3) 2&1, Matteo Manassero (#12) defeated Luke Donald (#5) 5&4, Richard Sterne (#16) defeated Zach Johnson (#1) 5&4, Peter Hanson (#15) defeated Dustin Johnson (#2) 4&3.
Course notes: The greens played firm, but the players were able to hit bombs, and attack hole locations with short clubs.
Despite some disappointment with the difficulty of the golf course, the players must make birdies to survive at Dove Mountain.
Day two matches to watch:
Rory McIlroy v. Harris English, 10:56 am MT: The two 24-year-olds have a lot to prove in 2014. McIlroy is in his comeback season after an off-year in 2013, and English would like to prove he can win big time tournaments.
Brandt Snedeker v. Webb Simpson, 11:56 am MT: Both players will be key members of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Team.
Rickie Fowler v. Jimmy Walker, 9:32 am MT: Jimmy Walker has won three of his first nine events of the 2014 season. Rickie Fowler is not off to a good start, but he is happy with his work with Butch Harmon, and just needs to make more putts.
Graeme McDowell v. Hideki Matsuyama, 11:32 am MT: Matsuyama is a rising star in the game, and McDowell “escaped” his first round match against Gary Woodland after being three down with three to play.
Henrik Stenson v. Louis Oosthuizen, 11:44 am MT: Stenson was the best player on the planet by the end of 2013, but he is getting back into golf shape to begin 2014. Oosthuizen has one of the best swings in golf, and is a great player to watch.
Jason Day v. Billy Horschel, 10:08 am MT: Day was extremely confident in the post-game press conference. I picked Rory to win the tournament, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Day wins. Horschel does not lack confidence either.
Match Play Bracket