Thomas Bjorn was the first player eliminated at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona today after playing only 13 holes.
The not-so-great Dane travelled about 5000 miles to be steamrollered by South African Trevor Immelman six and five in the first match of the day on a delightful morning at Dove Mountain.
It wasn’t so much a case of Immelman playing brilliantly, more that his opponent struggled. Bjorn sank a 25-foot birdie at the par five first, but that was the only hole he won.
He ran up four bogeys before the turn, and it was only a matter of time after that before Immelman won.
“I never gave myself any chance to take control of anything,” Bjorn said. “Trevor played nicely without doing anything special. It was probably the easiest game he will ever win.
Today just wasn’t very good. It’s tough in match play – you lose a couple of holes and get on the back foot.
“You are battling not only yourself but the guy you are playing against. It’s disappointing to come all this way for that.
“It was just not good enough. I am now going back home to London. I flew out from there, and it’s been a short week.”
Immelman, who three-putted the first before settling down, was obviously much happier. “I was hoping to get off to a good start,” he said.
“After that, I managed to play some solid golf and not make too many drastic mistakes.”
The second match was also over early, with Chris DiMarco seeing off Brett Wetterich four and three in an all-American battle.
Elsewhere, England’s Lee Westwood was one up after nine holes against Ryder Cup team-mate Padraig Harrington.
It was a good quality match with Westwood making five birdies and two bogeys on the outward half, while the steadier Irishman had two birdies and seven pars.
Welshman Bradley Dredge also made a promising start to stand one up on South African powerhouse Ernie Els after eight holes. It wasn’t the best of matches with neither player making a birdie.
Luke Donald of England got off to a flying start, two up after six holes against Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez thanks to three early birdies.