From Brian Keogh in Tucson
Darren Clarke suffered extra time heartache when he crashed out to Ryder Cup pal Sergio Garcia at the 19th.
The Ulsterman was one down after nine but looked battled back with an eagle at the 10th and a birdie at the 14th to go one up.
But Garcia was not to be denied and after winning the par five 17th par, he birdied the long first to send the Ulsterman on his way.
Garcia said: "It is a pity that one of us had to go home. When you are playing well it is always hard to go out in the first round and I know Darren will be disappointed.
"I got behind the eight ball when I went one down there with four to play but I holed a few putts when I had to and I'm happy to get through"
Clarke went one down at the first, where he was forced to lay up well back after missing the fairway right.
But the Dungannon man was back on terms at the short third, where a par was good enough after Garcia had overshot the green.
The next four holes were halved in par before Garcia edged ahead at the par three eighth with a superb 169 yard tee shot to just six feet.
Playing in energy sapping desert heat, Clarke levelled matters in spectacular style at the par five 10th when he drained a 40 footer from the fringe for eagle.
And while he edged ahead for the first time at the par three 14th, where he rattled home a 25 footer, Garcia wasn't giving up easily.
A birdie at the par five 17th, where the Spaniard got up and down from greenside sand and holed an eight footer, set up a dramatic finale.
At the 584 yard 19th, Clarke bunkered his second short of the green and failed to hole a 57 footer for birdie with Garcia two putting for victory.