February 21 2013
MARANA, Ariz. -- Steve Stricker won the first three holes in his match against Henrik Stenson and never looked back, cruising to a 5 and 4 win in the first round.
Stricker, the 2001 Accenture Match Play champ, will now play fellow American Nick Watney in the second round of the Snead bracket.
Stricker, a No. 4 seed, had won two holes on Wednesday before play was halted, then won the third hole when the match resumed Thursday. He lost the fourth hole with a bogey -- the only hole he lost in the match -- but bounced back with a birdie at the fifth hole when he rolled in a putt from 16-1/2 feet.
After that, he steadily built his lead, withnning the seventh and 13th holes with pars. Stenson, who won this event in 2007, had just one birdie in his 14 holes played.
"Henrik didn't play his best, and I played steady," Stricker said. "I didn't make really too many mistakes, didn't make a lot of birdies either, but just didn't make too many mistakes."