AUSTIN (Texas) — Rory McIlroyThere was every reason to love Thursday’s long ball.
McIlroy was taken to the 18th hole of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. UnleashedThe shot of the tournament. He hit a spectacular drive on the final hole of 375 yards.
This was enough to secure his 2-up win over Denny McCarthyMcIlroy led a parade with top seeds to the Austin Country Club final round of group play.
McIlroy smiled, saying “It’s good.” It was almost like Michelangelo doing a good job on Sistine Chapel.
He completed a rally that spanned six holes, starting at 3 and ending at 6. McIlroy did not take his first lead until another power show. He drove into the wind on the par-5 16, setting up a birdie from 18 feet.
Champion of defense Scottie SchefflerTo win his first match, he had to make a 12-footer on his last hole. He had seven birdies in a nine hole stretch in the middle of the match. Alex NorenFor a 5-and-4 victory.
Patrick Cantlay (4), Max Homa(5) Xander Schauffele(6) also won their matches, as four of the top six seeded took a 2-0 record into Friday to try and win their group and make it to the knockout stage.
The exception was Jon RahmAfter his loss in the opening round, he won by driving the green on the Par-4 fifth to his 4-and-3 victory. Keith Mitchell. Rahm is now in control of his group. Rickie FowlerHe lost his match.
It marked the end of another chaotic day of momentum shifts that led to uncertain outcomes. This is typical of the format that is being played for final time.
Matt KucharOn the verge of breaking Tiger Woods’ tournament record, he missed a 5-foot par putt on the final hole. He had no choice but to settle for a halve. Chris Kirk.
Cameron YoungHe was never the one to win in his match against Corey ConnersThey halved 14 of 15 holes. The rising American star made an eagle on 16th par-5, then holed a 12-foot birdie at 17th to take his first lead. After that, he made a wild scramble to score par to win.
“It’s windy and difficult today, but there are enough holes to still make four, five, or six birdies. Young stated that it’s about being patient and knowing that those are likely to come. “I would have preferred them to be a bit earlier, however I’ll take what they are.”
McIlroy’s drive was however the highlight.
McIlroy explained that McIlroy had imagined McIlroy’s driver would land on the slope and stay 10-20 yards short. “I didn’t think I could fly it on a green.”
McIlroy laughed about the rate of it.
He stated that he was 1 up and that there are many other ways to make a birdie on the hole without needing to do that. “But it was a great swing, and it was great fun to do it.”
It came during a week in which McIlroy said to “No Laying Up” that he favored the USGA and R&A proposal to roll back the distance golf balls travel for elite competition. The driver was not addressed by any of the governing bodies.
He stated that he believes people with better-rounded games will succeed more than what the game has become over the last few years, which has been a bit bomb-and gouge.
This was more bomb-and putt, but it was a beauty.
The shot was very similar to Robert MacIntyreTwo years ago, he was driving the 18th hole at Austin Country Club when he had to win his group’s final hole. It knocked out the top-seeded Dustin Johnson.
McIlroy’s work has not been completed, and no top seed can be certain to advance even if they have lost a match.
Two players can speak from their experience. Cantlay was 2-0 two years ago when he lost on day three. He then had to face a sudden-death playoff. Brian HarmanHe had defeated the winner on the first day, and lost the second round with a three-putt.
Lucas HerbertLast year, he was in the same spot when he went bankrupt. Takumi KanayaThen, he faced him in a playoff, with four-putting on the first green.
Do not get complacent.
Herbert stated, “Comfort in golf is the devil.” “As great as it is to be in 2-0, I still have work to do tomorrow.”
Twenty players are facing the worst day since they were eliminated. This includes Will Zalatoris, the No. 7 seed, and eighth placed Viktor Hovland.
Jordan SpiethYou will need some assistance. Spieth was a crowd favorite in Austin, where he played three semesters for the Longhorns. Taylor MontgomeryHe drove into the water, lost the 13th and went long of the 14th green. He missed a short par putt. Montgomery made a 10-foot birdie to take control.
Montgomery won the 17th hole to make it 2-0. Spieth would have to beat Shane LowryHave Mackenzie HughesMontgomery must be defeated in order to have a chance.
Montgomery was not a match player at UNLV. However, he did well in Shadow Creek’s money games with a few high-rollers.
He said that he had putts worth $10,000 and $15,000. He didn’t miss.
He said, “That was a good decision, too, because it was everything in my bank accounts,”
As for Keegan BradleyHe won 6-and-5, which was notable for two reasons. He won his first Match Play win since 2012, after which he suffered seven losses and seven halves. He only needs to win Friday to win the group.
McIlroy will be next. He beat Bradley in Medinah’s Ryder Cup in 2012, when Europe made a remarkable comeback. McIlroy almost missed his tee-time that day when he said that he had forgotten Chicago was in the Central Time zone. Austin is the same.
“Listen, it’s a tough match. It’s Rory McIlroyBradley said, “But, I’m playing well too, so, I’m going outside and trying to win this match.”