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Tiger wins opener at match-play championship


MARANA, Ariz. — On a day featuring few upsets, Tiger Woods made sure he wasn't one of them.

One of four No. 1 seeds, Tiger Woods held off scrappy J.J. Henry on the first day of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Going for his eighth consecutive PGA Tour win, a streak trailing only Byron Nelson's record of 11 in a row in 1945, Tiger Woods made six birdies and a lone bogey in a 3 and 2 win.

"It was actually a pretty tight match," the world's top-ranked player says. "J.J. hit a lot of beautiful putts in the middle of the round, and those putts just didn't go in. Had they gone in, it might have been a different story."

It was for Adam Scott, the only one of four No. 1 seeds to lose. He fell to No. 62 Shaun Micheel in 21 holes. Another top player to vanish was No. 2 seed Ernie Els. The No. 5 player in the world made only one birdie and fell to No. 60 Bradley Dredge 4 and 2. Most players with a higher seeding, however, dodged upsets, posting a 21-11 record in the first round. No. 1 seed Phil Mickelson, a winner two weeks ago at Pebble Beach and a playoff loser last week at the Nissan Open, came back from 2 down to win four holes on the inward nine to beat Richard Green 1 up.

"When you're dealing with the top 64 players in the world," Mickelson says, "where everybody can play well and get a hot hand, you have to have some fortune to get through the first round, and I was fortunate."

Only 10 of the 23 Americans in the field made it to the second round, but five of those 13 lost to an American. Davis Love III, Joe Durant and Lucas Glover were among the top Americans to fall.

Read more at www.usatoday.com


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