IAN POULTER (60) def. RORY MCILROY (11), 6 and 5
In a match of European Ryder Cup companions, McIlroy struggled mightily, and Poulter, a match-play gladiator, made positive to maintain him down. McIlroy gave away the par-3 fourth (three-putt) and par-4 fifth (the place his tee shot completed on the backside of a resident’s yard pool). Poulter was 2 up on the flip after which reeled of wins on the following 4 holes, highlighted by an eagle-3 conceded from 8 ft on the par-5 twelfth. McIlroy made solely two birdies, and when he chipped throughout the inexperienced into water from gap excessive on the drivable thirteenth, the match was over.
Mentioned Poulter: “I received 3 up in that match early (by 5). Being in that place towards Rory, you don’t wish to let him again within the match. If he will get any type of circulation, he’s going to be a very robust opponent to shrug off. … I had a stretch across the flip the place I type of saved the foot down and made it tough.”
CAMERON SMITH (25) def. LANTO GRIFFIN (46), 1-up
Two down with three holes to play, Australia’s Cam Smith rallied to win all three to tug off a comeback victory. Griffin appeared in prime place to probably shut issues out on the par-5 sixteenth gap, however his pitch got here up 10 ft shy of the opening. Smith made a 13-footer for birdie, and Griffin, competing in his first Match Play, missed his try. Smith was conceded the par-3 seventeenth (he had 12 ft for birdie) after Griffin had an near-impossible bunker lie, and received the deciding gap with par when Griffin mis-hit a chip from behind the inexperienced. Smith evened his Match Play report to 4-4-1.
DYLAN FRITELLI (64) def. TONY FINAU (12), 6 and 5
Finau received off to a tough begin, making double on his opening gap, and by no means did discover his footing. Fritelli, in his second Match Play look, took management with birdies on the fourth, fifth and 6 holes, and constructed his cushion to 5-up when he birdied the par-4 tenth gap from 7 ft. When Finau hit his tee shot into the water on the reachable thirteenth (288 yards), he was just about accomplished.
Fritelli is the lowest-seeded participant within the discipline (64), however is a former Texas Longhorn who is aware of the golf course and is sleeping in his personal mattress this week.
Fritelli stated, “Tony clearly did not play effectively right now. That wasn’t a real reflection on his sport. He wasn’t on his sport by any means, however I might wish to assume if he did play effectively I nonetheless would have been aggressive and perhaps been 1 or 2 up happening the ultimate few holes.”
JASON KOKRAK (29) def. WILL ZALATORIS (40), 1-up
The long-hitting Kokrak pulled off a top quality comeback victory with birdies on his closing two holes. He hit a shot to 13 ft on the 152-yard seventeenth and laid again off the tee on the quick, 370-yard ending gap, hitting his strategy from 114 yards inside 7 ft. Zalatoris led 1-up after birdie on the par-4 thirteenth; Kokrak answered with a birdie on the subsequent gap to tie the match; and Zalatoris then stepped up by making birdie on the par-5 sixteenth, sinking a putt from 9 ft. From there, it was all Kokrak, who stated he hadn’t performed match play since his novice days.
Kokrak stated: “It is one thing vastly totally different than what we usually do as a result of each shot counts it doesn’t matter what. In the event you get it out of play, you lay it up and you’re taking your bogey and also you go on. On this format it would not matter what you make, for those who make a birdie you win a gap, for those who make a 12 you lose the opening. So I believe it is a variety of enjoyable.”
KEVIN STREELMAN (53) def. VIKTOR HOVLAND (13), 4 and a pair of
Streelman had not been within the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play discipline since 2014, however he’s a person who can get scorching and make a variety of birdies, so this ought to be a fantastic format for him. He took it to the youthful Hovland within the opening spherical of pool play, successful two of the primary three holes, and by no means trailed. Three-up on the fifteenth tee, Streelman went birdie-birdie (making a 40-footer at 15, and conceded a 4-footer at 16) and closed out the match. Hovland, who ranks tenth on the PGA TOUR in birdie common, made just one birdie in 16 holes.
Streelman stated: “I performed properly final week and made a bunch of birdies on the Honda, just some too many errors, however the putter feels good and I are inclined to drive it and hit it fairly good, so who is aware of what can occur.”
ABRAHAM ANCER (27) def. BERND WIESBERGER (43), 3 and a pair of
Ancer performed properly, leaping out to an enormous early lead. After having to punch out on the par-5 sixth, he ripped a 6-iron to three ft for a shocking birdie that staked him to a 4-up lead. From there, it was a matter of not beating himself with errors. He was conceded the par-3 eleventh and went 5-up when he received the par-5 twelfth with a par. Wiesberger would birdie the thirteenth and fifteenth holes, nevertheless it was means too late.
Ancer stated: “I received away with a few holes (in the course of the spherical), however apart from that I performed actually stable. Did not actually make that many dumb errors, and hitting the ball effectively.”
DANIEL BERGER (14) def. ERIK VAN ROOYEN (62), 6 and 4
Berger put damage (rib) inquiries to relaxation with a decisive victory, rocking van Rooyen with 5 front-nine birdies and by no means trying again. Van Rooyen, in the meantime, by no means received going. He made only one birdie, bogeyed the par-5 sixth, and double-bogeyed the par-4 thirteenthgap. With two wins since final June, Berger got here to Austin having gone 1-8-0 in three WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play begins, by no means having gotten out of group play. He didn’t qualify for the match in 2019, however is off to a much-improved begin in 2021.
HARRIS ENGLISH (19) def. BRENDON TODD (47), 1-up
In a match of fine associates that featured solely three birdies, these two Georgia Bulldogs went all the way down to the ultimate putt. Todd had an opportunity to tie the match at 18, however his birdie putt from 15 ft grazed the left fringe of the opening, leaving Harris to transform a brief par putt for the victory. Harris by no means trailed within the match, and was 2 up with three to play, however handed away the sixteenth, dropping to a par. Todd had two attractiveness at 17 and 18 however didn’t get a putt to go. He slips to 0-4-0 all-time within the Match Play.
Harris stated: “We play a variety of apply rounds collectively, and we’ve identified one another a very long time. … It’s positively more durable (to play a good friend). I used to be pulling for Brendon right now. You by no means actually wish to beat a good friend. It was match.”
MATTHEW WOLFF (20) def. COREY CONNERS (37), 3 and 1
A battle of WGC-Dell Know-how Match Play rookies received tight earlier than Wolff received 4 straight holes (Nos. 12-15) to flip the match. Conners, who took a 2-up lead with three front-nine birdies, got here in because the underdog however was the warmer participant after being in competition at THE PLAYERS Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational offered by Mastercard. Wolff, who has struggled in 2021, got here alive late, enjoying holes 12-16 in 3 beneath as Conners performed them in 1 over. Similar to that, Wolff went from 2-down to 2-up. He birdied the par-3 seventeenth gap, his fourth in a span of six holes, to shut it out.
JORDAN SPIETH (49) def. MATT FITZPATRICK (15), 3 and 1
Jordan Spieth continued to construct off his current run of fine finishes with a stable opening win. He constructed a commanding 3-up lead over Fitzpatrick by 9 holes and by no means was in peril of letting his opponent again within the match. Fitzpatrick, who has struggled on this occasion (he now’s 4-9-0), didn’t make his first birdie till the sixteenth gap. Spieth answered with a birdie on the seventeenth, the place he hit his tee shot to eight ft.
Mentioned Spieth, “I knew it wasn’t going to be simple. Matt has received a U.S. Novice, and he’s in each single gap. He doesn’t make too many errors. Happily, I received off to begin, and it allowed me to play some safer photographs and provides myself some seems to be. I struck my irons very well. If you may get your irons dialed in out right here, it’s an enormous benefit.”
SUNGJAE IM (16) def. RUSSELL HENLEY (50), 1-up
The primary tee was the one time this match was tied. Im holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the primary gap and led all the means, however Henley hung robust. Im was 3-up on the flip however Henley received the following two holes. They tied the ultimate seven holes, nonetheless, and Im escaped with a 1-up win. Im is making his debut on this occasion.
VICTOR PEREZ (31) def. MARC LEISHMAN (36), 2 and 1
Leishman was 1-up after 11 however Perez received the following two holes to take the lead. Leishman hit it within the water on the par-5 twelfth and Perez hit his strategy to five ft on the subsequent. He took management on 16 after he hit a driver off the deck to inside 20 ft and received the opening with birdie.
Mentioned Perez: “To me match play is rather like enjoying on Sunday. It is just about proper in entrance of you. what to do, which supplies you readability.”