Donald handed Els opener in Tucson defence

Luke Donald is set to start his Accenture Match Play title defence against former world number one Ernie Els in Tucson on Wednesday.

Luke Donald is set to start his Accenture Match Play title defence against former world number one Ernie Els in Tucson on Wednesday.

Both have question marks over their form after finishing the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles with rounds of 78 yesterday, Donald having eight bogeys in his last 12 holes.

They finished 56th and 59th respectively, but while Donald retains his world number one spot Els – desperate to climb into the top 50 by the end of next month to qualify for the Masters – dropped from 65th to 68th.

This week’s event is for the game’s leading 64, but the field was based on last week’s ranking and Els was given a spot when Phil Mickelson confirmed he was missing the tournament to go on a family holiday.

Unless there are any further withdrawals before the draw becomes official at lunchtime Rory McIlroy, back up to second in the world ahead of Lee Westwood, will take on South African George Coetzee, called in as second reserve following Paul Casey’s decision to delay his return from dislocating his shoulder snowboarding last month.

Westwood’s match with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is set to be one of six all-European clashes. Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez are on collision course, as are Swedes Robert Karlsson and Fredrik Jacobson, Justin Rose and Paul Lawrie, Martin Laird and Alvaro Quiros and also Thomas Bjorn and Francesco Molinari.

Tiger Woods, knocked out by Bjorn in the first round at Dove Mountain last year, will be up against Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, with the winner to face either Open champion Darren Clarke or American Nick Watney. Clarke beat Woods in the 2000 final.

Provisional draw (seeded positions in brackets):

(1) Luke Donald v (64) Ernie Els

(32) Jason Dufner v (33) Peter Hanson

(16) KJ Choi v (49) Kyle Stanley

(17) Brandt Snedeker v (48) Retief Goosen

(8) Adam Scott v (57) Robert Rock

(25) Bo Van Pelt v (40) Mark Wilson

(9) Dustin Johnson v (56) Jim Furyk

(24) Thomas Bjorn v (41) Francesco Molinari

(4) Martin Kaymer v (61) Greg Chalmers

(29) David Toms v (36) Rickie Fowler

(13) Matt Kuchar v (52) Jonathan Byrd

(20) Bubba Watson v (45) Ben Crane

(5) Steve Stricker v (60) Kevin Na

(28) Louis Oosthuizen v (37) Aaron Baddeley

(12) Graeme McDowell v (53) YE Yang

(21) Hunter Mahan v (44) Zach Johnson

(2) Rory McIlroy v (63) George Coetzee

(31) KT Kim v (34) Anders Hansen

(15) Sergio Garcia v (50) Miguel Angel Jimenez

(18) Keegan Bradley v (47) Geoff Ogilvy

(7) Jason Day v (58) Rafael Cabrera-Bello

(26) Simon Dyson v (39) John Senden

(10) Charl Schwartzel v (55) Gary Woodland

(23) Ian Poulter v (42) Bae Sang-moon

(3) Lee Westwood v (62) Nicolas Colsaerts

(30) Robert Karlsson v (35) Fredrik Jacobson

(14) Nick Watney v (51) Darren Clarke

(19) Tiger Woods v (46) Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

(6) Webb Simpson v (59) Matteo Manassero

(27) Alvaro Quiros v (38) Martin Laird

(11) Bill Haas v (54) Ryo Ishikawa

(22) Justin Rose v (43) Paul Lawrie

More in this section

courtsgolfheathrowplace: tucsonplace: los angelesplace: dove mountainperson: donaldperson: elsperson: luke donaldperson: ernie elsperson: phil mickelsonperson: rory mcilroyperson: lee westwoodperson: george coetzeeperson: paul caseyperson: westwoodperson: nicolas colsaertsperson: sergio garciaperson: miguel angel jimenezperson: robert karlssonperson: fredrik jacobsonperson: justin roseperson: paul lawrieperson: martin lairdperson: alvaro quirosperson: thomas bjornperson: francesco molinariperson: tiger woodsperson: bjornperson: gonzalo fernandez-castanoperson: darren clarkeperson: nick watneyperson: clarkeperson: woodsperson: jason dufnerperson: peter hansonperson: kj choiperson: kyle stanleyperson: brandt snedekerperson: retief goosenperson: adam scottperson: robert rockperson: bo van peltperson: mark wilsonperson: dustin johnsonperson: jim furykperson: martin kaymerperson: greg chalmersperson: david tomsperson: rickie fowlerperson: matt kucharperson: jonathan byrdperson: bubba watsonperson: ben craneperson: steve strickerperson: kevin naperson: louis oosthuizenperson: aaron baddeleyperson: graeme mcdowellperson: ye yangperson: hunter mahanperson: zach johnsonperson: kt kimperson: anders hansenperson: keegan bradleyperson: geoff ogilvyperson: jason dayperson: rafael cabrera-belloperson: simon dysonperson: john sendenperson: charl schwartzelperson: gary woodlandperson: ian poulterperson: bae sang-moonperson: webb simpsonperson: matteo manasseroperson: bill haasperson: ryo ishikawaevent: accenture match playevent: northern trust openorganisation: spain
Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox