Survivors Day, Senden to meet at WGC
JASON Day and John Senden will meet in the second round of the World Golf Championships (WGC) Accenture Match Play Championship after surviving a disastrous day for the Australian contingent.
Out of the six Australians competing at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Dove Mountain, Arizona, only Day and Senden were able to claim first-up wins.
The Queenslanders' paths to victory could not have been more different with Day forced to twice come back from three down to beat Spaniard Rafael Cabrera Bello on the first extra hole, while Senden wrapped up his match four and three against Englishman Simon Dyson on the 15th hole.
Cabrera Bello exploded out of the blocks against Day, claiming a three up lead by the fifth hole before the Masters runner up hit back on the eighth and 11th holes.
However the Spaniard looked to have the match wrapped up after reclaiming his three up lead late in the match.
But Day was not to be denied, clawing back to all square through the final three holes, before holding his nerve on the first extra hole.
Senden on the other hand was never troubled by his opponent, grabbing a three up advantage by the fifth hole and never looking back.
Dyson only managed to win two holes in the entire match and was left looking for an early flight back to England after missing a birdie putt on the 15th hole.
Despite Day and Senden making it through to the second round, fellow countrymen Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley and Greg Chalmers all fell by the wayside.
An out-of-sorts Scott took the lead three times against Robert Rock, but a missed par putt on the 17th hole and a wayward fairway shot on the last ended his hopes of progressing.
Ogilivy never recovered from a slice of bad luck early in his match - a Keegan Bradley fairway rocket slamming into the flag-stick and settling next to the hole - while Baddeley was left to rue missing an easy birdie putt on the 16th hole.
Chalmers, playing his first WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in 11 years, always had a tough mission to beat last year's runner-up Martin Kaymer and subsequently fell to the German four and two.
But the biggest shock of the opening round was the failure of reigning champion Luke Donald to progress to the second round.
Donald was expected to make light work of multiple major winner Ernie Els, but the South African dumped the world number one out of the tournament after cruising to a five and four victory.
Big guns Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel all progressed to the next round.