February 21 2013
MARANA, Ariz. -- South African Richard Sterne, a 14th seed, upset American Jason Dufner, a No. 3 seed, in the first round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Sterne, advancing to the second round for the first time in three starts in this event, now faces defending champ Hunter Mahan in the Player bracket.
Sterne entered Thursday 3 up on Dufner through 10 holes. He increased his lead by winning the 11th hole when Dufner bogeyed the par-5 hole. But then Dufner got hot, reeling off four birdies in a five-hole stretch. Fortunately for Sterne, he halved two of those holes with his own birdies.
Still, when the match reached the 17th hole, Sterne was only 1 up. But Dufner found the greenside bunker with his second shot and could not take advantage of a Sterne bogey. Both players ended the match with pars.
"Match play is a strange game and it showed today," Sterne said. "I was 4 up and then suddenly I was struggling to finish the match off. That just shows you a few birdies at the right time for somebody else can put a lot of pressure on."