High seeds and big names fall at WGC Match Play

World No. 1 Luke Donald was so over powering last year in all of his matches, the Englishman never had to play an 18 hole in 2011.

The same can be said for 2012, however Donlad will not be playing at all as Ernie Els knocked him out of the WGC Accenture World Match Play today, 5 and 4.

“I don’t think it would have mattered who I played today. I just didn’t play well,” said Donald after his lack luster performance. “I struggled. I gave away too many holes and made too many mistakes. You can’t do that in match play against anyone, let alone Ernie.”

Former No. 1 Tiger Woods, had a brushy with the same fate as Donald did.

His playing competitor, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who earlier in the week said Woods was beatable. Almost kept good on his remarks.

Woods was down two after the first two holes to 'Gonzo'. Though fought back for a 1-up win, needing all 18 holes to complete the comeback victory.

“We both made our share of mistakes, there’s no doubt about that,” Woods said. “But somehow, I was able to move on.”

Other surprises from day one were past match play winner Ian Poulter, losing 4 and 3 to Bae Sang-moon.

Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa provided a spark at the end of his match with 2011 FedEx Champion, Bill Haas.

Haas, who won last weekend at Riviera in a playoff over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, was 1-up on Ishikawa standing on the 17th green.

Ishikawa birdied the hole to make the match all-square. On 18, the young star would beat Haas with a birdie to close him out and move on to day two.

The most thrilling match of the day was easily between Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson.

Johnson, 3-down at one point to Furyk, went to extra holes to decide the outcome.

Furyk smelled blood in the water on the 20th hoe, when Johnson pushed his tee shot into the desert. Forcing him to take a penalty stroke.

Johnson, eventually won the match after a three putt bogey on the same hole by Furyk, would seal the deal.

World No. 2 and No. 3 Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood have a chance with their wins, combined with Donald's early exit to knock him from the top of the world rankings.

There are still a lot of matches and golf to be played in Arizona.

After day one's performances and upsets. I don't think anyone can predict a winner right now.

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