5 surprises from Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

March 28, 2019

We’re two days in to the second World Golf Championships event of the year, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club, and like Wednesday, Thursday’s matches were full of surprises.

Here are are the five most unexpected outcomes of the day.

Tiger Woods lost to Brandt Snedeker

Tiger’s first WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play appearance got off to a good start on Wednesday, when he defeated Aaron Wise 3-up.

But unfortunately, Thursday was a different story. In a hard-fought battle with Brandt Snedeker, Tiger eventually succumbed on the 17th hole, 2&1.

Though Woods never led, the match saw plenty of action, with eight holes won between the two players. And, though he didn’t get the W, the Big Cat still thrilled the masses with the recovery shot below.

In order to move on from the group stage to the round of 16, Woods will have to win his Friday match against Patrick Cantlay and hope that Snedeker loses his match to Aaron Wise.

Dustin Johnson lost to Branden Grace

Dustin Johnson, the Match Play’s No. 1 seed, fell to Branden Grace on the 18th hole.

It was a close match all the way through, as neither player ever led by more than 1-up and both carded five birdies, but two of Grace’s birdies were on the four closing holes.

Grace is now the group leader with two full points. If DJ can manage to win tomorrow and Grace loses, DJ will move on, but a win or a tie on Friday will seal the deal for Grace.

 

Billy Horschel beat Bubba Watson

Considering his unfortunate demise on the final hole of Wednesday’s match, it’s fair to say that defending champ Bubba Watson may not be in the right head space this week.

But it’s still surprising to see a player of his caliber go down in this format.

Watson only won a single hole on the front side, and was 3-down to Horschel after 10 holes. Watson fought back, winning two holes in a row to get back to 1-down by No. 13, but a bogey on No. 15 sealed his fate. Watson remained 2-down until No. 17, where the match ended, 2&1.

Horschel and Jordan Spieth currently top the group with 1.5 points each.

Jon Rahm lost to J.B. Holmes

Rahm, the No. 8 seed, made headlines on Wednesday for his margin of victory against Si Woo Kim, whom he defeated 7&5. Thursday was different, however, and Rahm fell to Holmes 2&1 in what was a more lopsided victory than the match result indicates.

Rahm won only one hole on the front side, and Holmes had Rahm 6-down on the 11th tee. Rahm then rallied mightily, winning four holes in a row to get back to 2-down on the 15th tee, but unfortunately, it was too little, too late. Holmes held on to win 2-up on No. 17.

Holmes and Rahm have one point each, and their group is currently topped by Matt Kuchar, with two points.

Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson faced off on Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
USA Today Sports

Jim Furyk beat Phil Mickelson

What more can we say about the ageless Jim Furyk? The 48-year-old veteran has three top-10 finishes this season — including a runner-up finish at the Players Championship — and seems as on-form as ever.

Still, he beat Jason Day 2-up on Wednesday, and that was surprising. On Thursday, he battled Phil Mickelson to the 18th hole, where they both made birdie, and Furyk prevailed again, 1-up.

Friday should be fun, as Furyk and Henrik Stenson are scheduled to duel, and both players are undefeated thus far, with two points apiece.

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