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.