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Jeev goes down to Cink

February 22, 2007 12:57 IST

India's ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh was knocked out by American Ryder Cup star Stewart Cink three and two in the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Marana, Arizona.

While world number one Tiger Woods stayed on the path for an eighth PGA Tour title in a row beating J J Henry three and two in first round, the big casualty of the opening round was Ernie Els who was eliminated by Briton Bradley Dredge 4 and 3. Dredge birdied three of the last seven holes on way to his win.

Another upset was Shaun Micheel beating Adam Scott on the 21st after a marathon battle.

Jeev, making his debut in WGC Accenture Matchplay, started well winning the first hole with a birdie, but on the par-4, he bogeyed as Cink birdied and it was all square. With the next two holes being halved, things were even till the fifth tee. But then Cink started pulling away.

Cink, world number 26 but far more experienced, parred the par-5 fifth, which the Indian bogeyed to go 1-up. After halving the sixth, Cink birdied the next two as Jeev parred to open up a three hole lead. On the ninth, Jeev birdied while Cink parred and the margin was down to two.

But it was the last hole that Jeev won. Cink played steady as he halved the next two and then won the 12th with a birdie to go three-up again. With holes running out, Jeev needed to win a couple, but he only managed to halve four holes in a row from 13th to 16th and ultimately lost 3 and 2. Of the other Asian players, KJ Choi was the only one to win, beating Carl Petterson two and one.

Choi will meet Henrik Stenson, who beat Zach Johnson 1-up. Yang Yong Eun, winner of the HSBC Champions tournament, was roundly beaten five and four by Rod Pampling of Australia.

Woods was comfortable in his three and two win over Henry, while defending champion and also US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy of Australia beat American Steve Stricker four and three and Canada's Stephen Ames thrashed Swede Robert Karlsson eight and seven.

Phil Mickelson beat Richard Green two and one and will clash with Justin Rose, who beat Michael Campbell six and five in a one-sided clash.

In some of the other notable matches South Africa's Trevor Immelman beat Denmark's Thomas Bjorn six and five, Britain's Ian Poulter beat American Bart Bryant five and four and Ireland's Padraig Harrington went into extra hole, the 19th, to beat Lee Westwood.

Among the interesting second round clashes will be Colin Montgomerie and Paul Casey. Montgomerie beat Johan Edfors two and one, while Casey came through with a 1-up win over Mike Weir.

 

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