It was the shot of the day on an otherwise mixed-bag day of golf at Harding Park.
Ben Martin, playing 239 on the par-3 17th:
Favorites didn't fare too well on day one, but they have two more days to get things right, as Rex Hoggard notes for GolfChannel.com.
Consider that seven of the day’s first nine matches went to the lower-ranked player and that when the final putt dropped past 10 p.m. on the East Coast things had only gotten slightly better for the favored, with 13 of 32 matches going to the lower seed on Day 1.
It’s always been the axiom at the Match Play, which defies the pathological desire in sports to clearly define favorite and underdog. This however, is no NCAA tournament, where Cinderella stories are the stock in trade.
Rory McIlroy noted that the energy wasn't quite the same as previous match play Wednesdays. Jeff Babineau reports for Golfweek.com:
“I’m not sure the urgency on this Wednesday is right there,” McIlroy said, comparing it to the one-and-done format used in the past. This week, players are guaranteed three matches. “It’s very important to win any match, but obviously your first match. You’re facing a bit of an uphill struggle if you don’t win that one today. … All of a sudden, you’re not in control of your own destiny.”
We ended up with 245 in the GeoffShackelford.com league. Many thanks! I'm still sorting out how we're going to get results and do prizes, but it'll sort itself out. This should be fun come Friday night when we can start seeing results. And next week with the new PGA Tour Fantasy launch this may be a good test run.
**Steve Elling previews some of the best day two matches.
Four of the top-10 seeds lost Wednesday - Henrik Stenson (3), Justin Rose (6), Jason Day (7) and Adam Scott (9).
Meanwhile, it was the fourth time in the last six years that the No. 64 seed won in the first day of matches. The difference this time is that Francesco Molinari didn't have to play the No. 1 seed, Rory McIlroy. There was a lottery draw to fill out the teams. Molinari wound up playing Scott, and beating him with ease, 5 and 4.