Henrik Stenson of Sweden, seen here at the Dubai Dessert Classic last month, is one of the top seeds at the World Golf Championships Match Play which begins on Wednesday. - EPA
MARANA (US) AFP: Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Zach Johnson were confirmed Sunday as top seeds for the $9 million (RM29m) World Golf Championships Match Play Championship that begins Wednesday.
Each of them will top a division in the 64-player field whose bracket was announced after ranking positions were set following worldwide golf events.
World number one Tiger Woods, reigning British Open champion Phil Mickelson and reigning Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia are not taking part, opening the door for three players outside the top 64 in the world rankings to move into the lineup.
Sweden's third-ranked Stenson will open against Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the lowest ranked player in the field at 67th.
Other top seeds in Stenson's quarter of the draw include Aussie Jason Day and Americans Steve Stricker and Brandt Snedeker.
World number five Rose of England, the reigning US Open champion, will start against 66th-ranked American Scott Piercy.
Other top seeds in Rose's quarter of the bracket include Americans Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Jason Dufner, last year's PGA Championship winner.
American Johnson, ranked sixth, will open against 65th-ranked Richard Sterne of South Africa.
Other top seeds in Johnson's quarter of the bracket include Americans Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.
Seventh-ranked McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, will open against 64th-ranked American Boo Weekley.
Other top seeds in McIlroy's quarter include South African Charl Schwartzel, Spain's Sergio Garcia and England's Ian Poulter.