CARLSBAD, California (Ticker) — Call it the golfing version of a No. 16 seed beating a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
World No. 1 Tiger Woods suffered a shocking 2 and 1 loss to Peter O’Malley, the world’s 64th-ranked player, Thursday in the first round of the Match Play Championship at La Costa Resort and Spa.
Regarded as the world’s best match play competitor, Woods received a rude awakening from his lesser-known opponent, who closed out the match on the 17th hole.
Woods is not the only high seed facing an early elimination in the 64-player event that is set up like the NCAA Tournament as No. 63 John Cook is 3-up against No. 2 seed Phil Mickelson through 15 holes.
No. 3 seed David Duval also is getting a test but is 1-up against No. 62 Kevin Sutherland after 13 holes.
Among the top seeds advancing to the second round were No. 4 Sergio Garcia of Spain, No. 5 Ernie Els of South Africa, No. 6 David Toms, No. 7 Retief Goosen of South Africa, the reigning U.S. Open champion, No. 8 Davis Love III and No. 9 Vijay Singh of Fiji.