Day One of the WGC-Accenture Match Play didn't disappoint, as some of golf's biggest names grabbed an early flight home (the opening round had 15 upsets, second-most in tournament history). Here's a rundown of Wednesday's biggest upsets. Enjoy filling out a new bracket!
No. 16 Ernie Els def. No. 1 Luke Donald (5 and 4) — It wasn't exactly Hampton over Iowa State in the NCAA Tournament, but Ernie Els' upset win in the first round was pretty impressive. After getting into the tournament thanks to Phil Mickelson's decision to skip and spend the week with his kids (who are on Spring Break), Els made the most of his match against the number one player in the world, rolling in a birdie on the par-5 8th to take a 1-up lead he'd never relinquish. Donald looked off for most of the day, but you have to give Els credit for seizing the moment and advancing to the next round.
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No. 15 Robert Rock def. No. 2 Adam Scott (1-up) — The guy with the perfect head of hair is moving on. In a match that appeared to be swinging Scott's way with four holes to play, Rock birdied the next two to go from 1-down to 1-up going to the 17th hole. Scott missed a three-footer to halve the match on 17, and then missed the green with his approach on 18 that all but ended his chances. Scott has now failed to get out of the first round in three of his last four Accenture Match Play starts.
No. 14 Ryo Ishikawa def. No. 3 Bill Haas (1-up) — Just days after Haas picked up a huge win at Riviera, he watched his chances of posting back-to-back wins go up in smoke, as 20-year-old Ryo Ishikawa grabbed a big upset victory. The golf phenom found himself 3-down after 13 holes to Haas but birdied back-to-back holes to cut the defect to 1-down. Ishikawa then birdied the 17th to square the match before winning the 18th with a par. But don't feel bad for Bill Haas; he's going to be wiping his tears away with $1,000 bills after last week's win.
No. 15 Matteo Manassero def. No. 2 Webb Simpson (3 and 2) — The 19-year-old Italian clearly loves playing in the Accenture Match Play. One year after he made it to the third round before losing the eventual winner Luke Donald, Manassero made 6 birdies in 16 holes to close out Simpson. It was an impressive win for the kid, who never trailed in his match against one of the top players in golf.
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- Luke Donald
- Ernie Els
- Ryo Ishikawa
- Adam Scott