By Mark Lamport-Stokes
MARANA, Arizona (Reuters) - Former U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell once again found himself on the wrong side of the vagaries of golf at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship when he lost to Yang Yong-eun 2&1 on Wednesday.
Northern Irishman McDowell recorded six birdies in dazzling sunshine at Dove Mountain's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club but he ran into a human buzz-saw as he was trumped by a red-hot Yang in the opening round.
The South Korean, who beat McDowell in the third round here last year, birdied four of the first seven holes before sealing victory with his seventh birdie of the day at the par-four 17th.
"You just run into the wrong guy on the wrong day, and you have got your work cut out. I didn't take care of business, so I'm disappointed, yeah," a frustrated McDowell told reporters.
"He beat me last year and he seems to have my number a little bit, you know. I have a tendency to bring out the best in guys around this track for some reason."
"I have played better than that every year I have been here, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles with this tournament," the 32-year-old said.
"It's a strange feeling packing your clubs at 11:05 a.m. on a Wednesday morning having made six birdies. I love this resort ... but this golf course has not been good to me. It just doesn't inspire me to make a ton of birdies."
McDowell felt the turning point in his match came at the par-four seventh where Yang, winner of the 2009 PGA Championship, rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt and the Briton then missed his attempt from eight feet.
"Then I kind of miss it in the wrong place on nine, and I lose that," the Northern Irishman added. "So from being all flat, I was two down.
"But you know what? This is the start of a great run of golf for me. I'm very happy where my game is at. I made some great clutch putts out there today.
"This just gives you nothing, this tournament, if you run into the wrong guy."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)