The Accenture Match Play is finally happening, and we have your recaps of all the big matches, crazy upsets and exciting finishes. We will update as the day goes, but here are the early storylines out of Dove Mountain.
Sergio Garcia survives 20 holes against Thongchai Jaidee -- The first shot The Golf Channel showed on Thursday as play kicked off was Garcia standing over a 15-footer. Two putts and Garcia would have been 2-up with two holes to play, but he blew that putt by a good eight feet, missed the comebacker and we had ourselves a match. Jaidee made a solid birdie on the 18th to move the match to extra holes, and after a lip-out on the 19th hole, Jaidee couldn't hold off Garcia, who hit the par-5 second hole in two and made birdie to win the match. How close was Sergio to getting knocked out in the first round? He already had his hat off and had given his caddie his ball as to say, "this is over" as Jaidee stood over his birdie putt on the first extra hole.
Russell Henley gives us the upset of the day with his win over Charl Schwartzel -- Heading into the match play, there were plenty of guys that you might consider "the hottest golfer on the planet," but that title was reserved for Schwartzel, who had been playing out of his mind before arriving at the first WGC event of the year. Henley, who already has a win this season at the Sony Open, took care of Schwartzel 1-up after nearly letting things slip away, and while there will be plenty of higher seeds that win, but plenty of experts had Charl in the finals, not getting bounced in the opening round.
The defending champion gets past his opening round opponent -- Hunter Mahan was coming into the Accenture a marked man, and as we've seen in the past, this tournament isn't too kind to past winners. But Mahan took care of business against Matteo Manassero, winning 5-up thanks to a solid start despite his best stuff.
Bubba Watson takes out Chris Wood -- Sometimes a weather delay can be a real distraction and sometimes it can give you a chance to regain your composure and figure out what just happened. Watson went out on Wednesday before the snow and couldn't make a birdie, but a day later it seemed that Watson was in the form we'd expect in this event, with a chip-in at the par-5 8th for eagle and a near hole-out on his final hole, the par-4 17th that was conceded and left Bubba 2-up over Wood, who already has a European Tour title to his credit this season. Watson will face hometown favorite Jim Furyk in the second round, who took out Ryan Moore in his first round in Marana.
Keegan Bradley struggles late, drops first round to Marcus Fraser -- It seems from last year's Ryder Cup that Bradley would be the exact person to have a ton of success in a format such at this WGC event, but sometimes you just don't have your best stuff. Bradley made four bogeys over his last seven holes to drop his first round match to Fraser, who survived thanks to a solid birdie putt on the 17th hole and a ball that spun back in the desert on the 18th for Bradley.