WGC Match Play: 5 things that got our attention Wednesday at TPC Harding Park
1. Momentum is overrated:
Justin Rose, fresh off a win in New Orleans and a runner-up at the Masters became the tournament's first loser. Rose fell 3 and 2 to Marc Leishman, who came to San Francisco with very little momentum. Leishman missed a month of action while his wife, Audrey, had a near-death experience after a series of infections. Audrey is better now, and Marc is rounding back into the form that made him the 2009 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
2. Anirban Lahiri's incredible match-play record:
The rising star from India is one of the rare golfers who can claim an undefeated career record in singles match play as a pro. OK, so Wednesday's 4-and-2 win over Ryan Palmer only made him 2-0, but he's still someone to watch out for this week with his two European Tour wins in 2015.
3. Stephen Gallacher's awful match-play record:
A member of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team, Gallacher got drubbed 7 and 6 by Hunter Mahan to fall to a near-impossible 1-11 record as a pro in match play. Yep, that's one win and 11 losses. Just call him the anti-Anirban Lahiri.
4. Ian Poulter isn't as good in non-Ryder Cup matches:
Poulter is arguably the most feared European golfer every two years, but he doesn't quite carry the same intimidation when he plays in this annual event. Poulter beat Simpson in Sunday singles at the 2012 Ryder Cup and the two halved in 2014. But on Wednesday, Simpson had no problem dispatching his nemesis, jumping out to a 4-up lead and cruising to a 3-and-2 win.
5. "That's sooooo match play" moment of the day:
Jimmy Walker looked to be in a bit of trouble on the first hole of a playoff with Gary Woodland in close birdie range and Walker in the greenside bunker of the par-5 first in two. But Walker hit this brilliant shot that almost dropped for an improbable eagle and the win:
Instead, it rattled out. After Woodland made his birdie putt, Walker missed his to lose the match. Ouch.