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Early Upsets Stoke Format Change Talks

Ian Poulter joined a list of nine players upset by lower seeds in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. (Brandon Connelly)
Ian Poulter joined a list of nine players upset by lower seeds in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. (Brandon Connelly)

By sundown Wednesday, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Keegan Bradley had been bumped out of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Nothing unusual about that. In fact, only nine of 32 lower seeds won their matches on Wednesday, scuttling the notion of mayhem in the bracket.


The early departures, though, again fired a popular topic here this week – should the format be tweaked to assure players aren’t gone after one day. In Poulter’s case, he was out before lunch time Wednesday.

It’s a subject that’s sure to be discussed as the PGA Tour and its partners consider the future of this event.

Some suggest building in a 36-hole stroke-play qualifier then putting 16 or 32 players into match play. Many players like the win or go home nature of the current format.

“Wherever they want to play it, I’ll be and whatever format they want to play it in, I’ll play,” Rory McIlroy said.

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