Dove Mountain: Unpredictability was again a recurring theme at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship as former champions Ian Poulter and Luke Donald of England, and American Zach Johnson, were all eliminated in Wednesday’s first round.
While American Jimmy Walker maintained his red-hot form this season with a commanding 5&4 win over South Africa’s Branden Grace, matchplay expert and 2010 winner Poulter was upset 2&1 by American Rickie Fowler in the 64-player event at Dove Mountain.
Donald, who clinched the 2011 title, was hammered 5&4 by Italy’s Matteo Manassero and world No. 6 Johnson, the tournament’s third seed, who is known for his gritty play, was stunned 5&4 by South Africa's Richard Sterne.
Long-hitting Dustin Johnson, who has triumphed once and been a runner-up twice in just four starts on the 2013-14 PGA Tour, also made an unexpected early exit, going down 4&3 to Swede Peter Hanson.
In total, there were nine upsets based on seedings from the 32 matches on the day.