KAVARNA, Bulgaria — Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts were unexpected losers Thursday on the first day of the World Match Play Championship.
Poulter was handed a 3 and 2 defeat by Thongchai Jaidee on the Gary Player-designed Thracian Cliffs course in the first major tournament held in Bulgaria.
Colsaerts, the defending champion, was never in front against Branden Grace, losing 4 and 3.
Graeme McDowell – the highest ranked player in the field at No. 8 – defeated Chris Wood 5 and 3.
LPGA TOUR: In Mobile, Ala., Lexi Thompson birdied four of her last five holes for 7-under-par 65 and a share of the first-round lead with Eun-Hee Ji in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
The 18-year-old Thompson, second last year behind Stacy Lewis, had eight birdies and a bogey on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex.
Ji, the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open champion, had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the front nine in her bogey-free round.
The second-ranked Lewis opened with a 70.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Santo Antonio Da Serra, Madeira Islands, Lloyd Saltman shot 8-under-par 64 to match his best round and take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Madeira Islands Open.
Saltman finished with nine birdies and a bogey in windy conditions. Richard Bland is second.
WEB.COM TOUR: Former Georgia star Hudson Swafford and ex-South Carolina standout Mark Anderson shot 9-under-par 63s on the Lake Keowee course and are tied for the lead with Zack Miller and Franklin Corpening after the first round of the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
The tournament is being played on three courses in the South Carolina upstate.
Augusta’s Scott Parel shot 5-under 66 at Thornblade Club, while Aiken’s Stephen Poole had 5-under 67 at Lake Keowee. Aiken’s Kevin Kisner shot 4-under 67 at Thornblade and Aiken native Matt Hendrix had 2-over 74 at Lake Keowee.