HOOK golfer Justin Rose was only able to win one match at the World Golf Championship Accenture Matchplay, losing to eventual semi-finalist Ernie Els in the second round of the competition.
The north Hampshire golfing ace travelled to Dove Mountain, in Arizona, for the tournament, the first of four annual World Golf Championship events.
Rose was drawn against American Scott Piercy in the first round last Wednesday and found himself one down after four holes. He won holes five and seven to grab the lead, but lost eight and nine to trail by one at the turn.
The 33-year-old seized the initiative by winning the par-five 11th with an eagle, while a birdie at 12 and a par at 14 were good enough to put him two up.
A bogey at 17 allowed Piercy to take the contest down the final hole, but with both players getting pars at the last, Rose won the match by one hole to set up a second round date with Els.
The former Robert May’s School pupil was two down after just four holes but hit back with birdies at five and seven to level the match. He twice grabbed the lead, winning holes 12 and 16, but Els was able to respond, winning 15 and 17 with birdies to pull level.
Both players scored pars on the final hole, meaning that extra holes would be needed. The first was halved with birdies but Rose lost on the second extra hole, Els making birdie when he could only manage a par.
The South African went on the reach the semi-finals, while the tournament was won by Jason Day, who beat Victor Dubuisson at the end of a marathon, 23-hole final yesterday.
The result lifted Day up to fourth in the world rankings, above Rose, who has slipped one place to sixth.
The Hook man will continue his comeback after recovering from a shoulder injury this weekend, taking part in The Honda Classic, which gets under way at PGA National, in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday.