The Accenture Match Play Championship is one of the most exciting events in golf. The bracket format makes it appealing to even the most casual golf fans. It's the perfect way to get us excited about the NCAA tournament in March. But unlike the NCAA tournament, major upsets of top seeds are pretty common at this event. In fact, at least one top seed has lost in the first round every year since 2006.
Here is a look at those top seeds that failed to win their first match at the tournament:
Even the legendary Woods is prone to upsets. Woods was the top seed in the Sam Snead bracket despite being mired in a slump on the golf course. Seedings are based on the World Golf Rankings and Woods was still pretty high. But his woes continued as Thomas Bjorn knocked him out in the first round. Top-seed Lee Westwood lost in the second round.
This was a tough year for top seeds as none made it past the second round. Stricker was the first to go, losing in the first round against Ross McGowan. Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, and Jim Furyk all lost in the second round. Ian Poulter was a three-seed and eventually won the tournament.
Garcia was upset in the first round by Charl Schwartzel, a man that would eventually make a name for himself by winning the Masters in 2011. Harrington was knocked off by Pat Perez. The other two top seeds lost in the second round. Tiger Woods fell to Tim Clark, while Vijay Singh lost to Luke Donald.
Els was eliminated in the first round by Jonathan Byrd. Byrd reached the third round before losing. However, this tournament had some success for top seeds beyond Els. Tiger Woods won the event and he was the last No. 1 seed to do so. Steve Stricker reached the third round as a top seed in the Sam Snead bracket.
2007 - Adam Scott
Scott was the unfortunate upset victim as he lost to Shaun Micheel in the first round. Micheel ended up reaching the third round. That was as far as any top seed would make it in 2007. Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk lost in the second round, and Tiger Woods lost in the third round.
2006 - Ernie Els
Els clearly isn't the best match play guy out there. In 2006, he was a top seed that lost in the first round against Bernhard Langer. The other top seeds did much better. Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh reached the third round, while Retief Goosen reached the quarterfinals. However, Geoff Ogilvy won the event as a 13-seed.* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. Follow him on Twitter here.
- Tiger Woods
- Steve Stricker