Schwartzel dumps Sergio
Tucson - World number two Sergio Garcia was the highest seed to make an early exit at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Wednesday, losing one down to South African Charl Schwartzel.
Although the Spaniard survived a barrage of three consecutive birdies from the first by putting wizard Schwartzel to go two up after 15 holes, he tumbled out of the tournament with a bogey-bogey-bogey finish.
"Charl played well and didn't give me much," second-seeded Garcia told reporters after a fluctuating encounter at Dove Mountain's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.
"I worked really hard for 15 holes and played really, really well but unfortunately just hit two bad shots on 16 and 17.
"He took his (chances). He did make a lot of putts but I still had my chances. I was two up and I was in control of the game. Unfortunately I just let it slip away."
Schwartzel, a double winner on the European Tour, booked his place in the second round with a superb putting display on Dove Mountain's difficult, heavily contoured greens.
"I really rolled the ball well," the 24-year-old said after totalling just 26 putts. "I made those clutch putts, the ones I needed to make.
"In match play, once you start making those putts, it's hard for your opponent. Just knock in those ones and it grinds them down."
Schwartzel, who will next meet Britain's flamboyantly dressed Ian Poulter, was delighted with his form over the final holes.
"At the end there he sort of gave it to me a little bit, but still, it was one hell of a match," he said.
"I didn't feel the pressure coming up 17 and 18. I thought I hit a really good bunker shot on 17, and knocking in that six-footer just sort of got it going.
"I put the ball on the green on 18 first, and that was it."