Sports

Match Play surprise: McDowell and Dufner rally on a day of comebacks at Dove Mountain

  • Luke Donald, of England, hits out of a bunker on the 13th hole in his match against Matteo Manassero, of Italy, during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. Manassero won 5 and 4. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Luke Donald, of England, hits out of a bunker on the 13th hole in his match against Matteo Manassero, of Italy, during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. Manassero won 5 and 4. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brandt Snedeker tosses his ball after missing a birdie putt on the 13th hole in his match against David Lynn, of England, during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Brandt Snedeker tosses his ball after missing a birdie putt on the 13th hole in his match against David Lynn, of England, during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rory McIlroy, of  Northern Ireland, walks off the 10th green in his match against Boo Weekley during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, walks off the 10th green in his match against Boo Weekley during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (The Associated Press)

Graeme McDowell pulled off the biggest stunner on a day of comebacks in the Match Play Championship.

McDowell won the last three holes against Gary Woodland to force extra holes, and then beat him with a 6-foot birdie on the 19th hole on Wednesday. It was a classic case of this fickle event providing hope even when it appears to be hopeless.

Jason Dufner also escaped against Scott Stallings. The PGA champion rallied from 3 down with five holes to play to beat Stallings with a par in 19 holes.

Henrik Stenson was in a battle with Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand. They were all square with four holes to play. Stenson was trying to avoid being the third straight No. 1 seed to lose in the opening round.