MARANA: India's Jeev Milkha Singh was knocked out by American Ryder Cup star Stewart Cink 3 & 2 in the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play here on Wednesday.

While World No. 1 Tiger Woods stayed on the path for an eighth PGA Tour title in a row beating J.J. Henry 3 & 2 in the first round, the big casualty of the opening round was Ernie Els, eliminated Britain's 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. Of the other Asians., K.J. Choi was the only one to win, beating Carl Petterson 2 & 1.

Starting well

Jeev, making his debut in WGC Accenture Match Play, 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 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. PTI

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