Els def. Dufner 1 up in WGC Match Play

Jason Dufner during the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.

Jason Dufner rallied from 2 down through 12 holes to pull even heading into the 18th hole in his Round-of-16 match against Ernie Els. But it was Els winning the final hole for the 1-up win.

We kept you posted on the highlights of the Dufner vs. Els match right here – and scroll down for our previous coverage.

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Hole No. 18: Par 4, 480 yards

After Els sticks his approach close, Dufner can't convert his birdie. Els sinks the short birdie to win the hole and the match.

ELS WINS, 1 UP

• • •

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 482 yards

Els misses a par save from the fringe and Dufner takes the hole to pull back to all square.

THRU 17: All square

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Hole No. 13: Par 5, 583 yards

After dropping the 12th hole with bogey, Dufner cuts Els' lead in half with a birdie at the par-5 13th.

THRU 13: Els, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 219 yards

Els needs no more than a par as Dufner continues to struggle.

THRU 12: Els, 2 up

• • •

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 493 yards

A simple concession from Dufner here and Els regains the lead.

THRU 10: Els, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 476 yards

Jason Dufner makes the turn in style, pouring in a birdie putt to square the match.

THRU 9: All Square

• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 5, 576 yards

Ernie Els takes advantage of the par 5 with a birdie and has won three of the last four holes to take the lead for the first time today.

THRU 8: Els, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 6: Par 3, 185 yards

Back-to-back bogeys from Dufner gets Els right back into this match.

THRU 6: All Square

• • •

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 536 yards

A simple par does it for Ernie Els on No. 5 to cut Dufner's lead in half.

THRU 5: Dufner, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 2: Par 5, 574 yards

Both players have eagle putts, but Dufner gets his to tap-in range, while Els leaves himself 8 feet. The Big Easy misses his birdie putt and Dufner draws first blood.

THRU 2: Dufner, 1 up

• • •

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 460 yards

Ernie Els got here with maybe the shot of the tournament and has squeaked out wins over both Stephen Gallacher and Justin Rose. Dufner chipped in against Matteo Manassero to advance.

They open with a halve.

THRU 1: All Square

• • •

Jason Dufner

  • OWGR Rank: 18
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 25
  • 2014 PGA Tour results: T-34, WGC-HSBC Champions; 5th, Hyundai TOC; T-29, Sony Open; T-65, Northern Trust Open
  • Match Play results (since 2009): T-33 (2013); T-33 (2012)
  • Comments: Not much of a sample size when it comes to Match Play, so he is a bit of an unproven commodity.

• • •

  • Ernie Els

  • OWGR Rank: 34
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Rank: 68
  • 2014 PGA Tour results: T-47, CIMB Classic; T-11, WGC-HSBC Champions; T-35, Northern Trust Open
  • Match Play results (since 2009): T-33 (2013); T-17 (2012); T-17 (2011); T-17 (2010); T-5 (2009)
  • Comments: Last year was the first year the Big Easy didn't win at least one match. He's made three cuts in as many starts during the 2014 PGA Tour season, so don't be quick to pick against him in the first round.

• • •

Thursday's second-round coverage

J. Day, H. English smartly conquer second-round Match Play challenges

Thursday, we again saw evidence in the WGC-Accenture Match Play that the toughest hole can be the five inches between the ears. The mental part of the game again was on conspicuous display in, among other matches, a couple that went extra holes and were claimed by young stars Jason Day and Harris English.

G. McDowell: "I was dead and buried, both days," after second come-from-behind win

Live from the desert, a golf sequel to “The Year of Living Dangerously,” with Graeme McDowell, not Mel Gibson, playing the lead role. Shaking his head, he was trying to get his thoughts around what had just transpired in the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship. By all respects, the man from Northern Ireland should have been packing his bags to head home. Instead, he’s on to the third round.

5 Things: R. Fowler stays hot; top seeds ousted; more

The unpredictability of match-play tournaments reared its head Thursday, and it provided plenty of surprising fireworks at Dove Mountain. From Rickie Fowler's comeback win over Jimmy Walker to Hunter Mahan's date with Graeme McDowell, as well as all four No. 1 seeds heading home, take a look at 5 Things you need to know after the Round of 32.

• • •

Wednesday's first-round coverage

5 Things: Snedeker sneaks in; McIlroy moves on; more

Thirty-two matches, 64 players, nearly 10 hours of golf – and dozens of reasons why it's the best day of the year for pure PGA Tour fun, non-major category. But with so much going on, no time to waste. Here are 5 Things to know from Day 1 of the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Surprising starts: Bubba's comeback; Fowler, Blixt upsets

And for your morning breakfast, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship served up a trio of surprises. Rickie Fowler beating Ian Poulter and Jonas Blixt eliminating Keegan Bradley? No argument there. But Bubba Watson ousting Mikko Ilonen? A surprise? If you go by stature in the game, resumes and seedings – Watson was 11th, Ilonen 54th – it surely wasn’t, but the way things turned in the American’s favor certainly was.

McDowell: 'Very fortunate to have escaped' at Match Play

There are no guarantees in golf, if we hadn’t known that before. Nothing is certain, particularly in 18-hole match play, even when you are 3 down with three holes left and your opponent sends an approach shot toward the pin. That was Graeme McDowell’s predicament in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play.

• • •

Match Play preview coverage

Hole-by-hole preview of Dove Mountain, Match Play host course

The Golf Club at Dove Mountain is certainly fun to watch from home. And with match play, just about anything can happen, especially on this dramatic, rugged Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountain Range just north of Tucson, Ariz. See photos and a strategic description of all 18 holes.

Expert picks: No clear favorite at WGC Match Play

The field is stacked and this is truly the "anything-can-happen" tournament of the year, as match play seems to even the playing field in golf. With Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott taking the WGC-Accenture Match Play off, a bit of intrigue might be lost, but the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter should provide some drama worth watching.

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