DEFENDING champion Graeme McDowell made a winning start to his World Match Play title defence yesterday by beating Alexander Levy at the London Club in Kent.
The Northern Irishman beat Frenchman Levy, who arrived fresh from his victory at the Portugal Masters on Sunday, 3&2 in the tournament’s opening clash.
McDowell’s Ryder Cup team-mate Victor Dubuisson also won his first group stage match, beating Pablo Larrazabal 3&2, while Henrik Stenson halved with South African George Coetzee.
Fellow Gleneagles heroes Jamie Donaldson and Stephen Gallacher slipped to defeats, however, losing to England’s Paul Casey 2&1 and Irishman Shane Lowry respectively.
Dutchman Joost Luiten beat Finn Mikko Ilonen 1 up, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee defeated Francesco Molinari of Italy 2 up, and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt beat American Rdyer Cup player Patrick Reed 2&1 in the other contests.