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Rory McIlroy caps another Match Play win with epic near ace on 18

Ranking the favorites, contenders and hopefuls

AUSTIN (Texas) — Rory McIlroyThere was every reason to love Thursday’s long ball.

McIlroy’s shot of the tournament was taken to the 18th hole of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. McIlroy’s drive on the 375-yard final hole was so spectacular that it pitched on to the green and rolled out to 4 feet.

This all almost sealed 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 and said, “It was great,” which was similar to saying that Michelangelo did an excellent job on the 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 in 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 matches. Four of the top six seeds had a 2-0 record on Friday to help them win their group.

The exception was Jon RahmHe recovered from his first round loss by driving the green at the par-4 fifth green to win a 4-and-3 victory. Keith Mitchell. Rahm is now in control of his group. Rickie FowlerHe lost his match.

It was the culmination of another day of momentum shifts, uncertain outcomes, and a blustery day typical of the format being played for its final time.

Matt KucharOn the verge of breaking Tiger Woods’ tournament record, he missed a 5-foot par putt on the final hole. He was forced to settle for a halve. Chris Kirk.

Cameron YoungHe was never the one to win in his match against Corey ConnersThey lost 14 of the 15 first holes. Then, the rising American star made an eagle at the par-5 16th. He then hit a 12-foot birdie to take his first lead.

“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 like them to be a little earlier, but they’ll be right where they are.”

McIlroy’s drive was the tops, however.

McIlroy said, “I was imagining that driver was going to land onto the upslope and kind of stay 10, 20 feet short.” “I didn’t imagine that I could fly it onto the green.”

McIlroy laughed when McIlroy asked where it ranks.

He said, “I was 1 up, and there are certainly many other ways to make birdie at that hole without having that to do that.” “But yes, it was a great play and it was a great time.”

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 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, and it was beautiful.

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 isn’t done and no top seeds can be guaranteed to advance, even if they lose a match.

Two players can speak with experience. Cantlay was 2-0 in the previous round. He lost on the third day, and then had to face a sudden death playoff against him. 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 KanayaHe was then confronted in a playoff, where he put four 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-seeded Viktor Hovland.

Jordan SpiethHe will need some help. Spieth was a crowd favourite in Austin, where he played with the Longhorns for three semesters. He was 1 up over rookies on the PGA Tour. 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 on the 17th to make it 2-0. Spieth would have need to beat Shane LowryHave Mackenzie HughesMontgomery must be defeated in order to have a chance.

Montgomery did not do well in match play at UNLV, but he did very well in money games at Shadow Creek with some high rollers.

He recalled making side bets that were worth $10,000 to $15,000. He didn’t miss.

He stated, “That was also a good thing because that was all in my bank account.”

As for Keegan BradleyHe had a 6-and-5 win, which was significant for two reasons. He won his first Match Play win since 2012, after which he suffered nine losses and seven halves. He only needs to win Friday to win the group.

McIlroy is next, having defeated Bradley in the Ryder Cup in Medinah in 2012, when Europe pulled off an amazing comeback. McIlroy almost missed his tee-time that day when he forgot Chicago was in Central time zone. Austin is the same.

“Listen, it’s a tough match. It’s Rory McIlroyBradley stated, Bradley said, “But I’m also playing well, so I’m going out there and trying to win the match.”