Tiger Woods sets up mouthwatering Match Play clash with Rory McIlroy

Posted March 30, 2019

It wasn't almost that bad, but it still wasn't easy for Woods, who prevailed 3 and 1 over Aaron Wise in the first day of pool play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship.

Woods is 34-10 in his 14 years playing the Match Play, but hasn't competed in this sort of format outside the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup since getting knocked out of the tournament on the first day in 2013 when it was single elimination.

Woods found himself two down after eight holes of his must-win contest with fellow American Patrick Cantlay, but won five of the next six on his way to a 4&2 victory at Austin Country Club.

Woods will need to beat Cantlay on Friday and hope that Snedeker loses to Aaron Wise, whose defeat to Cantlay ended his hopes of progressing.

Tiger Woods produced a spectacular recovery shot to save par at the World Golf Championship Match Play in Texas.

And it looked like Woods would go down two holes at the par-3 11th, but he made a 10-footer for par to salvage a tie.

Horschel and Spieth halved their match in the opening round, both won on Thursday, and if they win again - Spieth faces Watson, Horschel gets Na - they would be in a playoff to determine who reaches the knockout stage on the weekend.

Rory McIlroy is well placed to make it into the last 16 at the WGC Match Play.

Snedeker, a PGA Tour veteran with nine victories, has played with Woods in PGA Tour rounds 13 times in their careers but never bested him. "There was a lot of ebb and flow in this match", Woods said.

"I wasn't going to roll over like a year ago", he said. I'll ignore his poor showing last week at the Valspar Championship and back Garcia with these decent sized odds given how effective he usually is in these type of tournaments.

Jim Furyk rallied past Day 2up, Thomas was stunned 3 and 2 by Dane Lucas Bjerregaard and Kevin Na edged Watson 1up.

Others with a ideal record after two matches include British Open champion Francesco Molinari, major winners Henrik Stenson and Jim Furyk, and "Mr 62" Branden Grace, the only player to break 63 in a major. "It was a match I wanted to win".

Day was also eliminated Thursday after his second-round loss to Henrik Stenson.

Brandt Snedeker took advantage of too many mistakes by Woods off the tee and on the greens for a 2-and-1 victory, a big one for Snedeker because of his opponent's name and reputation. Dustin Johnson won in 2017 and was routed in his first three matches in 2018. He made a six-foot birdie to match Horschel and send it to the 18th, and he lofted a wedge to two feet for birdie to win the 18th. Enough to whet the Augusta appetite for 16 or 17 or 18 holes as we think about what a Masters win would mean for each of these golfers.

"We were both struggling a little bit", Woods said.