Of all the upset winners during the first two rounds of the WGC-Match Play Championship, the guy who has impressed me the most is Jonathan Byrd. He's seeded 61st overall (16th in the Hogan Bracket) and he's disposed of his first two opponents in short order.
Byrd dusted Ernie Els, the top seed in the Hogan Bracket, by a 6&5 margin in his first match and followed that with a 6&4 victory over Argentina's Andres Romero in the second round. Byrd takes on the defending champ, Henrik Stenson, in today's third-round match.
If he can get past that one, I like Byrd's chance to wind up in a winner-take-all match with Tiger Woods in the semifinals. Of course, by predicting this, I've probably doomed poor Byrd to a sound whipping at the hands of Stenson. But I'll stick with my prediction. And this potentially cheesy headline in Monday's papers: Unmatched birdied barrage lifts Byrd to Match Play title.
Or something equally punny. You get the idea ...
As for other longshot golfers to track the rest of the week:
-- Colin Montgomerie (No. 59 seed overall) has won his first two matches and should fare well today against Stewart Cink. Monty just needs to find a way to convince Cink they're playing a singles match at the Ryder Cup, and he's a shoe-in to the next round.
-- Justin Leonard, the No. 50 seed, has looked strong in his first two matches. I don't expect him to get past Stuart Appleby today but it would not be a shock if he did.
_ Jimmy Burch