Sports

Ryder Cup stars McDowell, Dubuisson begin World Match Play Championship with wins

  • Northern Ireland's  Graeme McDowell plays a tee shot  during day one of the World Match Play Championship at The London Club, in Ash southeast England Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Nigel French/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell plays a tee shot during day one of the World Match Play Championship at The London Club, in Ash southeast England Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Nigel French/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. golfer Patrick Reed   plays a tee-shot during day one of the World Match Play Championship at The London Club, in Ash southeast England Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Nigel French/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    U.S. golfer Patrick Reed plays a tee-shot during day one of the World Match Play Championship at The London Club, in Ash southeast England Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Nigel French/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • France's Victor Dubuisson  plays from the rough during day one of the World Match Play Championship at The London Club, in Ash southeast England Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Nigel French/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    France's Victor Dubuisson plays from the rough during day one of the World Match Play Championship at The London Club, in Ash southeast England Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Nigel French/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

Defending champion Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson began the World Match Play Championship with comfortable wins on Wednesday, three weeks after teaming up as one of Europe's top pairings in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

McDowell had a 3-and-2 victory over Alexander Levy, who won the Portugal Masters on Sunday, and Dubuisson beat Pablo Larrazabal by the same score in the first of three group matches at The London Club.

Henrik Stenson, at No. 5 the highest-ranked player in the 16-man field, halved his match with George Coetzee of South Africa. Two other members of Europe's Ryder Cup winning team, Stephen Gallacher and Jamie Donaldson, both lost.

Patrick Reed, the U.S. team's top points scorer in Gleneagles, opened with a 2-and-1 loss to Jonas Blixt.