Ernie eliminates Luke @ WGC Accenture Matchplay February 22 2012

Ernie Els dusted off all his cobwebs and eliminated world number one Luke Donald in the first round of the WGC Accenture Matchplay Tournament. The event is being held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Arizona. Eliminate is probably a sympathetic term, in reality it was more like annihilation. Els triumphing 5 & 4 over an out of touch and surely out of form world number one, and top seed here. Luke continued his poor start to this season, and needs something good to happen soon, or he will soon be tumbling down the world rankings. It was hard for Luke to pinpoint what happened to him today; " I'm not sure where to start. I just didn't play very well. It's disappointing. I've been working really hard. To lose control of the golf ball like I did today is really frustrating, but I believe the hard work will start paying off soon.  I don't think it would have mattered who I played today; I just didn't play well. I struggled. I gave away too many holes and made too many mistakes. You can't do that in match play against anyone, let alone Ernie. One and done LYONS/GETTY IMAGES Ernie himself was pretty philosophical about it. " Well, yeah, I mean, I was trying to just take it as a first round match. Obviously there was a bit of hype. There's always hype when the No.1 player is playing with the No. 64 seed. But I think Luke and I took it for what it was, you know. And I think he didn't want to play me and I sure as hell didn't want to play him the first round. But that's the way it worked out. But I played well. I thought I hit the ball well and eventually made the odd putt. Luke had a bit of an off day. I'm obviously very pleased to go through. "As I said before, I'm sure he didn't want to play me. Obviously I can play a little bit of golf. So I'm sure he didn't really want to face me. And I was just glad to be in the event. So if I was going to play Luke or Rory or Westwood, I knew I had to be on my game. So it was a bit of a situation coming into this week. Last week wasn't great, but Monday and Tuesday I could practice and felt comfortable." "I played the Callaway ball, the HX ball, which launches a bit higher and in this altitude I felt that an advantage on Luke, if I played him." Match recaps: Day 1 LYONS/GETTY IMAGES Robert Rock of England the 15th seed disposed of  the 2nd seed Aussie Adam Scott, just 1 up. Good to see Robert continuing his good recent play. Other notables on the way home after the first round included; Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson, who all faltered in the quickfire first round of 18 holes.