Tournament heavyweights Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have suffered the first upsets the World Golf Championships-Match Play in Austin, Texas.
On Wednesday, World No.2 McIlroy was defeated by Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen 2-and-1 in his first match, while Japan’s Hideto Tanihara claimed the scalp of two-time major champion Spieth at Austin Country Club with a 4-and-2 victory.
Both world No.60 Tanihara and No.68 Kjeldsen bagged a point each for their giant-killing efforts.
In the round-robin format, only one golfer from each group of four progresses to Saturday’s round of 16 and both McIlroy and world No.6 Spieth are now on the back foot.
Meanwhile, the only two Australians in the field – world No.3 Jason Day and No.32 Marc Leishman – are soon to tee off in their first-round match ups.
Leishman, who won last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, faces eight-time Ryder Cup veteran Lee Westwood, of England, while defending WGC-Match Play champion Day faces in-form American Pat Perez.