Justin Rose last man standing

Justin Rose is the last Englishman standing after the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona as he edged past Scott Piercy.

The US Open champion progressed one-up against his American opponent, while his fellow compatriots Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald all fell at the first hurdle at Dove Mountain.

Rose failed to break par until he fired a long eagle putt at the 11th to level the match, with a birdie at the 12th making all the difference to seal the win.

“It wasn’t a classic, but it didn’t need to be,” Rose said. “I kept saying to myself ‘I’ve got all day to beat him’ and that’s the way it turned out.”

I kept saying to myself ‘I’ve got all day to beat him’ and that’s the way it turned out.

Justin Rose

However third seed Poulter, who won the event in 2010 and reached the final 12 months ago, crashed out 2 & 1 to American Rickie Fowler, while fifth seed and 2011 winner Donald went down to a comprehensive 5 & 4 defeat at the hands of Italy’s Matteo Manassero. Eighth seed Westwood was the third English player to go out when losing 5 & 3 to American Harris English.

It was a better day for Northern Ireland as former world number one Rory McIlroy beat Boo Weekley 3 & 2, while former US Open champion Graeme McDowell stormed back from three down with three holes to play to beat American Gary Woodland at the first extra hole.

McIlroy is now 100/1 to win the 64-man event in the absence of world number one Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson, Rose can be backed at 28/1 and McDowell is 35/1.

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