Match recaps: Day 1 of 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play

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Match recaps: Day 1 of 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play

PGA Tour

Match recaps: Day 1 of 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play

Here are recaps for every match from Wednesday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club:

Group 1

Bernd Wiesberger (1-0) def. Dustin Johnson (1-0), 3 and 1

The defending champ won two holes with pars in the first four holes, but he was credited on the scorecard with a quadruple bogey on the par-5 sixth hole. Wiesberger then won Nos. 7 and 9 to take a 1-up lead at the turn. He stretched it to 2 up after Johnson found the water with his tee ball at the par-3 11th. But Johnson battled back with birdies at Nos. 12 and 13, only to bogey two of his final three holes.

Kevin Kisner (0-0-1) halves Adam Hadwin (0-0-1)

No player led by more than 1 up in this match, and four holes were won with par on the front nine. Kisner birdied from 5 feet at the par-4 13th to take a 1-up lead, but Hadwin got it back after Kisner missed a 4-footer for par at the par-3 17th.

Group 2

Justin Thomas (1-0) def. Luke List (0-1), 2 up

List bent his putter on the seventh hole and had to play the rest of the match putting with his wedge. However, List, 3 down at the time, rallied to get his match to the 18th hole. He birdied Nos. 13, 15 and 16 to pull to 1 down, his birdie make at 15 coming from 18 feet. But on the final two holes, List was hurt by not having his putter and Thomas sealed the win with a nice bunker shot to gimme range at the par-4 18th.

Francesco Molinari (1-0) def. Patton Kizzire (0-1), 3 and 1

Molinari hit four shots to within 5 feet to set up birdies beginning on the ninth hole to pull away from the two-time Tour winner this season. Kizzire did lead 1 up after five holes following a hole-out eagle from 96 yards on the par-4 fifth. But Molinari drained a 26-footer for birdie on the par-5 sixth to re-square the match. He never trailed again.

Group 3

Jon Rahm (0-0-1) halves Keegan Bradley (0-0-1)

Rahm, last year’s runner-up in Austin, led 3 up after four holes, but it was Bradley who went birde-birdie-eagle to start the back nine and take a 1-up lead. He went 2 up after a par at the par-4 15th, but Bradley bogeyed two of his final three holes to only end up with a halve.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (1-0) def. Chez Reavie (0-1), 3 and 2

The big Thai, who has two match-play wins on the European Tour, only lost two holes before closing Reavie out on the 16th hole, where Aphibarnrat made his fourth birdie of the match.

Group 4

Jordan Spieth (1-0) def. Charl Schwartzel (0-1), 2 and 1

A year after not winning his group, Spieth didn’t play his best golf Wednesday. He also never trailed. Spieth won the par-4 second with par and made just one birdie in his first 12 holes. But he birdied Nos. 13 and 14 to take control and lead 3 up.

Patrick Reed (1-0) def. Haotong Li (0-1), 3 and 2

Reed shot 1 over on the front nine and still led 2 up. He was conceded the par-4 13th to go 3 up and he closed out the match with birdie at the par-5 16th – that was just his second birdie of the match.

Group 5

Hideki Matsuyama (1-0) def. Yusaku Miyazato (0-1), 2 and 1

Miyazato was 2 up through four holes after two birdies in that span, but Matsuyama battled back, birdieing two of the final three holes of the front nine to turn with a 1-up lead. Matsuyama, who returned from injury last week at Bay Hill, added five birdies on the back, including from 7 feet at the par-3 17th, to close out the match win.

Cameron Smith (1-0) def. Patrick Cantlay (0-1), 2 up

Smith carded four birdies and never trailed against Cantlay. The young Aussie built a 3-up lead after nine holes as Cantlay failed to post a birdie. The Shriners Open winner did birdie four holes on the back, but Smith held on for the opening win.

Group 6

Peter Uihlein (1-0) def. Rory McIlroy (0-1), 2 and 1

Uihlein won three holes with birdie and earned another hole win with a conceded par on the front nine. He entered the back side with a 4-up lead over McIlroy, last week’s winner at Bay Hill, and then went 5 up as McIlroy bogeyed the 10th. But just as he did Sunday at the API, McIlroy caught fire late. He birdied five straight holes, from Nos. 12-16. However, he could only pull to 2 down as Uihlein held tough before winning the match with par on No. 17.

Brian Harman (0-0-1) halves Jhonattan Vegas (0-0-1)

Vegas, who played college golf at Texas, made a couple of early birdies and led 1 up after four holes. But it was Harman who took a 1-up lead after seven holes and led by that margin for much of the match, including through 17 holes. Vegas, though, made a 10-footer for birdie at the par-4 18th to halve the match.

Group 7

Sergio Garcia (1-0) def. Shubhankar Sharma (0-1), 1 up

Garcia led 2 up through four holes before Sharma led 1-up for much of the middle part of the round. At the par-5 12th, Garcia had to take his shoes off to hit his second shot from the cart path. He made birdie to halve the hole. Despite dropping the next hole, Garcia birdied three of his final five holes, including the par-4 18th, to win the match.

Xander Schauffele (1-0) def. Dylan Frittelli, 1 up

Schauffele went from all square to 1 up three different times and made three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine. He settled down on the back, building a 2-up lead before Frittelli won Nos. 14 and 15 to square the match again. Schauffele then birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to post the win.

Group 8

Jason Day (1-0) def. James Hahn (0-1), 4 and 2

Day, who won the inaugural Match Play at Austin Country Club, made a 30-footer for birdie to win his first hole of the match at the par-4 third. He led 1 up after 11 holes before going 2 up after a birdie at the par-5 12th and 3 up after Hahn put two balls in the water at the par-4 13th. With Day looking at 10 feet for birdie at the par-5 16th, Hahn conceded the hole and match.

Louis Oosthuizen (1-0) def. Jason Dufner (0-1), 1 up

After Dufner led 1 up after a birdie on the first hole and then birdied the ninth to go into the back nine at all square, Oosthuizen won three straight holes, at Nos. 10-12 to take a 3-up lead. But Dufner won three straight holes of his own later on, capping his run with eagle at the par-5 16th. A poor tee shot long at the par-3 17th, though, led to bogey for Dufner.

Group 9

Ian Poulter (1-0) def. Tommy Fleetwood (0-1), 3 and 2

Poulter made just one birdie in 16 holes but it was more than enough to beat a struggling Fleetwood, who shot 1 over. Poulter didn’t make a putt outside of 9 feet on the day, but his 8-footer for birdie at the par-5 12th gave him a 2-up lead and helped him seal the match.

Kevin Chappell (1-0) def. Daniel Berger (0-1), 3 and 2

Berger won the opening hole with par on his Presidents Cup teammate, but Chappell birdied the next two holes to take an early 1-up lead. Berger birdie the par-3 fourth to square the match back up, but bogeyed Nos. 8 and 9 to give Chappell a 2-up lead at the turn. Berger was able to square the match back up with par at No. 13, but Chappell closed with three straight birdies, two from 4-5 feet and a tap-in at the par-5 16th, to win the match.

Group 10

Paul Casey (1-0) def. Russell Henley (0-1), 1 up

Henley carded two birdies and was conceded another on the front nine, and he led for much of the match, including 2 up through 11 holes and 1 up through 14 holes. But Casey, winner at the Valspar two weeks ago, won the par-4 15th with par and then took the last hole with a conceded birdie after Henley hit his tee ball way left and into a hazard. He failed to find the green with his third and fourth shots, and then took off his hat in defeat.

Kyle Stanley (1-0) def. Matthew Fitzpatrick (0-1), 1 up

Stanley was 4 over and had just one birdie through 15 holes. He trailed 2 down for much of that time. But he birdied two of his final three holes, including making a 6-footer at the last, to get the win.

Group 11

Julian Suri (1-0) def. Marc Leishman (0-1), 3 and 2

Suri, the last man in the field, never trailed in this one. He won the first two holes, each with par, and led 1 up after nine despite not making a birdie. On the back, he made three birdies in seven holes to close out the Aussie on No. 16.

Bubba Watson (1-0) def. Branden Grace (0-1), 5 and 3

Watson birdied seven holes on the front nine to take a commanding 6-up lead through nine holes. Grace was able to win two holes on the back, but it wasn’t close to enough. He conceded par to Watson and the match on the par-4 15th hole.

Group 12

Tyrrell Hatton (1-0) def. Alexander Levy (0-1), 3 and 2

Hatton took the opening hole with par and never looked back. He led 3 up after Levy conceded the par-4 fifth and ended the match on the 16th hole despite carding just two birdies in the match.

Brendan Steele (1-0) def. Charley Hoffman (0-1), 1 up

Steele never trailed in this one, but Hoffman did make things interesting. Steele won three of the first four holes and was 4 up through 12 holes. But Hoffman won three of the next four holes and then was conceded the 17th. Needing to make a 16-footer for birdie from the fringe at 18 to likely halve the match, Hoffman missed and settled for par.

Group 13

Alex Noren (1-0) def. Kevin Na (0-1), 4 and 2

Each player made three birdies on the front and took just one hole as they made the turn at all square. But Noren won the par-5 12th with par before Na bogeyed the 14th to drop to 2 down and then conceded the 16th and the match to Noren.

Tony Finau (1-0) def. Thomas Pieters (0-1), 2 and 1

Four holes were won with par and another was conceded as Finau came away a winner on the 17th hole. Finau, twice a runner-up this season, trailed 2 down through three holes before taking a 1-up lead after eight. He never trailed from that point.

Group 14

Charles Howell III (1-0) def. Phil Mickelson (0-1), 3 and 2

Mickelson, who won the last WGC event three weeks ago in Mexico, was 1 under and leading 1 up after seven holes before Howell III caught fire on the back nine. He birdied Nos. 10, 12 and 13 to take a 3-up lead, which he kept the rest of the way as Mickelson made all pars on the back.

Rafa Cabrera Bello (1-0) def. Satoshi Kodaira (0-1), 2 and 1

The Spaniard won the opening hole with bogey and made just three birdies, but it was enough to win his opening match over Kodaira. Kodaira was able to square the match with birdie on the 10th hole, but Cabrera Bello carded two of his birdies at Nos. 12 and 13 to retake a 2-up lead.

Group 15

Pat Perez (0-0-1) halves Si Woo Kim (0-0-1)

Kim was 3 up through 11 holes before Perez birdied four of his final seven holes to halve the match. Perez’s final birdie of the day came after he stuck his tee ball to 3 feet at the par-3 17th hole. Kim missed a 10-footer for birdie at the par-4 18th for a chance to win the match.

Gary Woodland (0-0-1) halves Webb Simpson (0-0-1)

Woodland holed a 36-footer for birdie at the par-4 ninth hole to take a 3-up lead at the turn. But Simpson won the 10th hole with birdie and squared the match back up after 14 holes as Woodland took a penalty stroke on Nos. 13 and 14. After Woodland won No. 15 to take another lead, Simpson stuck his tee shot to inside of 3 feet at the par-3 17th.

Group 16

Matt Kuchar (0-0-1) halves Zach Johnson (0-0-1)

It looked like Kuchar, a past winner of this event, was going to roll to a first-day win. He birdied four holes on the front nine and led 3 up at the turn. He made a 35-footer for birdie at the par-3 11th to move to 4 up, but Johnson rallied. He birdied the final four holes to earn a halve.

Yuta Ikeda (1-0) def. Ross Fisher (0-1), 2 and 1

Ikeda was 3 over on the front nine yet was still all square. That allowed him to take a lead with birdie at No. 11. Fisher didn’t make a birdie on the back nine and Ikeda used a birdie at No. 15 to give himself a 2-up lead that he never relinquished.

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