The first round of the Accenture Match Play Championships was full of surprises on Wednesday as nearly half of the 32 matches ended with the lower seed winning. The most noticeable may have been the top ranked golfer in the world, Luke Donald, falling 5&4 to Ernie Els. Donald won the event in 2011 and was the top seed this year.
Bobby Jones Bracket
In the Bobby Jones Bracket Adam Scott (#2), K.J. Choi (#4), Thomas Bjorn (#6), Bo Van Pelt (#7) and Jason Dufner (#8), all fell to their lower seeded opponents. Dustin Johnson, the #3 seed, needed extra holes to defeat Jim Furyk.
Ben Hogan Bracket
The Ben Hogan Bracket was the most friendly bracket for the top seeds on Wednesday. Graeme McDowell (#3) was the only player to be "upset" when he lost to Y.E. Yang 2&1. Yang will advance to face the Hunter Mahan, the #6 seed.
Gary Player Bracket
The story in the Gary Player bracket was Jason Day. Day, the #2 seed, found himself 3-down with four to play before staging his impressive comeback. He went on to win holes 16,17,18 and closed out opponent Rafael Cabrera-Bello on the 19th hole.
Sergio Garcia (#4) lost 2&1 to fellow countryman Miguel Angel Jiminez (#13) while Ian Poulter (#6), Simon Dyson (#7), and Kyung-Tae Kim (#8) all fell in their matches.
Thursday Match to Watch: Jason Day (#2) v. John Senden (#10). Day struggled for most of his round but was able to pull it together. Will he ride momentum to another victory or take his foot off the gas peddle as he looks to advance past the second round?
Sam Snead Bracket
All eyes were on Tiger Woods in the Sam Snead Bracket and Woods didn't disappoint. In a back and forth match, Woods found himself 2-down through two but battled back to go 1-up on the 8th. The lead was short lived as Gonzalo Fdez-Castano won holes 10 and 11. It wasn't until Woods won the 15th and 16th that he reclaimed the lead and held on for victory.
Some of the biggest surprises came from the Snead Bracket as Webb Simpson (#2), Bill Haas (#3), Justin Rose (#6) and Alvero Quiros (#7) were all eliminated by higher seeds. Haas defeated Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson in a playoff on Sunday to win the Northern Trust Open.
Thursday Match to Watch: Tiger Woods (#5) v. Nick Watney (#4). Coming into this event both players had struggled this season. Watney took care of business winning 5&4 while Woods showed his mental toughness coming from behind to win. The winner of this match could go on to face top seed Lee Westwood.