The first day of The WGC Accenture Match Play Championship always brings some surprises. Rex Hoggard of The Golf Channel says don’t call them upsets but they sure look like upsets to me. There were some top seeds and heavy hitters sent packing on Wacky Wednesday at Dove Mountain. It was a Bracket Bustin’ Wednesday.
Number one seed Zach Johnson went home early after a 5 & 4 whipping by 16th seed Richard Sterne. I call that an upset and I bet Zach Johnson does too. Consider this: 96% of the brackets on PGA Tour.com had Johnson and all 96% of them call it an upset.
One of the hottest golfers of the season, Dustin Johnson a 2 seed was dispatched by 15th seed Peter Hanson. Johnson was the fifth ranked player in the entire field and picked to win on 95% of the brackets and in the second round 88% said he’s advance. Plenty of brackets went down the tubes and DJ was packing up Paulina and her bikini for an early exit.
Zach Johnson’s loss as a number one seed may technically be the biggest upset but realistically the most shocking result of the day was Ian Poulter’s loss to Rickie Fowler. Poults was only a third seed and Rickie a 14 but Poulter’s reputation in match play is legendary. Poulter looked shell shocked as he shook hands with the newly shorn Rickie. His 2 & 1 victory has to go down as the surprise of the day. Plenty of brackets were busted, including mine as I had Poulter going all the way to win this thing. Some say it is the “Reverse Sampson” effect that has powered Rickie past Mr. Match Play. Contrary to Sampson who got his strength from his long locks, Rickie’s short cut has given him new length and accuracy, enough to take down a match play legend. He busted my bracket and that haircut makes him looks like a kid behind the counter at Wendy’s. We’ll see if his new powers work against Jimmy Walker in the second round.