Match recaps: Day 2 of 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play

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Match recaps: Day 2 of 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play

PGA Tour

Match recaps: Day 2 of 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play

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

Group 1

Adam Hadwin (1-0-1) def. Dustin Johnson (0-2), 4 and 3

Johnson, the defending champ, made two birdies and no bogeys on the front nine, yet found himself 2 down after nine holes. On the back nine, Hadwin didn’t make a mistake, and took the 12th hole with par and was conceded the 13th hole to go 4 up. Johnson is now eliminated.

Kevin Kisner (1-0-1) def. Bernd Wiesberger (1-1), 5 and 4

Kisner birdied five of his first six holes to take a 3-up lead and he never lost a hole after that. Wiesberger can still advance though with a win and a Kisner loss to Johnson on Friday.

Group 2

Justin Thomas (2-0) def. Patton Kizzire (0-2), 3 and 1

After the match started with five straight holes halved with pars, Thomas went eagle-par-birdie to take a 3-up lead. Kizzire won Nos. 11 and 13 to get the match to 1 down, but Thomas birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to seal the match and set up a meeting with Francesco Molinari on Friday for a spot in the knockout stage.

Francesco Molinari (2-0) def. Luke List (0-2), 3 and 2

Molinari conceded two holes to List during the match, but he also made seven birdies to dispatch of List on the 16th hole. List and Kizzire are eliminated while Molinari will advance with a win over Thomas on Friday.

Group 3

Chez Reavie (1-1) def. Jon Rahm (0-1-1), 1 up

Rahm never led in this one as Reavie went up for good following a Rahm double bogey at the par-4 eighth. Reave birdied No. 9 and was conceded No. 10 as he went 3 up on Rahm. Rahm rallied with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, but he couldn’t birdie the last and is now eliminated from contention.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (2-0) def. Keegan Bradley (0-1-1), 1 up

Aphibarnrat birdied the opening hole and led 2 up for much of the first nine holes. He let Bradley back in it with three bogeys on the back nine, but he birdied the last two holes, including from 13 feet on the par-4 18th, to clinch nothing worse than a playoff to advance on Friday.

Group 4

Jordan Spieth (2-0) def. Haotong Li (0-2), 4 and 2

Spieth made three birdies in his first six holes, yet only led 1 up at that point. He then won the par-3 seventh with par and never trailed after that. On the par-5 16th, Spieth hit his second shot to 17 feet and was conceded the eagle after Li failed to make birdie. Li is eliminated and Spieth will play Reed on Friday for the right to advance.

Patrick Reed (2-0) def. Charl Schwartzel (0-2), 1 up

Just three holes were halved in this match with two of those holes being the 17th and 18th. Schwartzel led at the turn, 2 up, but Reed battled back to take a 2-up lead after 15 holes. Schwartzel birdied the par-5 16th to pull to within 1 down, but couldn’t get closer. Reed nearly holed his approach at the par-4 18th to seal the match with a conceded birdie. Reed will play Spieth Friday with the winner advancing to the knockout stage. Schwartzel is eliminated.

Group 5

Cameron Smith (2-0) def. Hideki Matsuyama (1-1), 1 up

Just five holes were halved in this one. Smith led 1 up for much of the front nine, but Matsuyama took 1-up leads with pars at No. 9 and No. 13. Smith took the final lead of the match by holing a 75-footer for eagle at the par-5 16th. If Smith beats or halves Patrick Cantlay on Friday, he advances. If not, he’s in a playoff.

Patrick Cantlay (1-1) def. Yusaku Miyazato (0-2), 1 up

Cantlay won the first hole and led the whole way until No. 17 when Miyazato squared the match up with a par. But Cantlay pitched to 2 feet at the par-4 18th to set up a conceded birdie.

Group 6

Rory McIlroy (1-1) def. Jhonattan Vegas (0-1-1), 2 and 1

McIlroy carded four birdies and just one bogey, and never trailed as he eliminated Vegas, who played his college at Texas. McIlroy can advanced with a win over Brian Harman on Friday and a Vegas win or halve against Peter Uihlein.

Brian Harman (1-0-1) def. Peter Uihlein (1-1), 3 and 2

Harman won the first hole by making a 9-footer for birdie and never let Uihlein get back in it. Two of Harman’s six hole wins came via concession with Uihlein still not in the hole.

Group 7

Sergio Garcia (2-0) def. Dylan Frittelli (0-2), 2 up

Frittelli made three birdies on the front nine and Garcia won just one hole as the South African led 2 up at the turn. But Garcia birdied four times on the back including at Nos. 10 and 18 to cap the come-from-behind win and set up a winner-take-all match with Xander Schauffele on Friday.

Xander Schauffele (2-0) def. Shubhankar Sharma (0-2), 3 and 1

Schauffele made four birdies and didn’t card a bogey to eliminate Sharma. Sharma did hang in there, making four birdies of his own, but he made too many mistakes, including an opening double bogey at the first and a rough par-4 10th hole in which he needed four shots to reach the green.

Group 8

Jason Dufner (1-1) def. Jason Day (1-1), 3 and 1

Day was cruising early, going 2 up after five holes. But he bogeyed Nos. 6 and 7 to lose his lead, and Dufner won three holes late with par and the 16th with eagle to hand Day his first loss and stay in the running to win the group.

James Hahn (1-1) def. Louis Oosthuizen, 3 and 1

Hahn won the first three holes and Oosthuizen only won one hole in the match. Hahn carded five birdies, including a 17-foot concession on the second hole. This group is still up for grabs, though, as no player is eliminated.

Group 9

Tommy Fleetwood (1-1) def. Kevin Chappell (1-1), 7 and 6

The Englishman routed the American, winning the first four holes and recording the biggest margin of victory in this year’s event to date. However, Fleetwood did only need three birdies to post the convincing win as Chappell carded five bogeys and conceded two other holes. Both players are still alive in the competition.

Ian Poulter (2-0) def. Daniel Berger (0-2), 2 and 1

Still using his old putter from the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah, Poulter eliminated Berger from the competition while putting himself in position to control his own destiny in Friday’s final day of group play. Poulter won the second hole with par and after Berger made a mess of the par-3 fifth, Poulter led 3 up. Berger won just two holes in the match.

Group 10

Paul Casey (2-0) def. Kyle Stanley (1-1), 4 and 2

Casey carded five birdies, including a conceded 3-footer on the par-5 16th that clinched his victory, and just one bogey. He won the opening hole and never gave up his lead, and at 2-0 Casey can now advance with a win or tie against Matthew Fitzpatrick, and even if he loses he is guaranteed a spot in a playoff.

Russell Henley (1-1) def. Matthew Fitzpatrick (0-2), 2 and 1

Fitzpatrick led 2 up thru seven holes, but Henley birdied three times on the back nine, including holing a 22-footer at the par-3 17th to win the match and eliminate Fitzpatrick.

Group 11

Bubba Watson (2-0) def. Marc Leishman (0-2), 3 and 2

A day after rolling against Grace, Watson was down early to Leishman. Leishman won the first hole and held his 1-up lead until the fifth hole. Watson won Nos. 7 and 8 with pars, and then after Leishman won the first two holes on the back nine with birdies, Watson won three straight holes – two with par, one with bogey – to eliminate the Aussie.

Branden Grace (1-1) def. Julian Suri (1-1), 2 and 1

Grace stayed alive by making four birdies in his last 11 holes to beat the 64th seed. He didn’t lead until the eighth hole, but was 3 up after the 11th. If Grace wins Friday against Leishman and Suri beats Watson, then there will be a three-man playoff. Watson advances with a tie or better.

Group 12

Tyrrell Hatton (2-0) def. Brendan Steele (1-1), 3 and 2

Hatton was 3 down through seven holes before mounting a comeback. He won No. 8 with par and then made a 10-footer for birdie at the par-4 ninth. He birdied Nos. 11 and 12, and then took his first lead with par at the par-4 13th. Hatton closed out the match with a 25-foot eagle make at the par-5 16th.

Alexander Levy (1-1) def. Charley Hoffman (0-2), 1 up

Hoffman led 1 up through three holes, but Levy on Nos. 4, 6 and 7 to take a 2-up lead. Hoffman won four holes on the back nine, but he couldn’t quite claw his way fully back. Hoffman is eliminated, but if he beats Hatton on Friday that will give Levy and Steele a chance to advance.

Group 13

Alex Noren (2-0) def. Thomas Pieters (0-2), 5 and 4

Noren continued his bogey-free streak this week. He has also made 12 birdies in 30 holes. Against Pieters, he was 4 up after seven holes and never looked back. Pieters is eliminated while Noren will face Finau in a winner-take-all match on Friday.

Tony Finau (2-0) def. Kevin Na (0-2), 3 and 2

Finau will face Noren for the chance to advance on Friday after eliminating Na. Finau birdied the first three holes to take a 3-up lead. Na did cut the deficit to 1 down after 14 holes, but Finau birdied Nos. 15 and 16 to seal the win.

Group 14

Phil Mickelson (1-1) def. Satoshi Kodaira (0-2), 1 up

Kodaira was 4 up after seven holes before Mickelson began his comeback. Lefty won the eighth hole with par and then was conceded the ninth before hitting his 12-footer for birdie. Mickelson got to just 1 down on three different occasions on the back nine before squaring the match with par at No. 17 and making an 8-footer for birdie at the par-4 18th to win the match and eliminate Kodaira.

Charles Howell III (2-0) def. Rafa Cabrera Bello (1-1), 3 and 1

Howell III is now in the driver’s seat to win this group after winning a second straight match. He led 1 up early after making par at the par-4 second. However, Cabrera Bello led 1 up after nine holes, winning both of his holes on the front nine with birdie. Howell retook the lead with par at the 10th, and then took advantage of two Cabrera Bello bogeys in the last four holes to win on the 17th.

Group 15

Webb Simpson (1-0-1) def. Pat Perez (0-1-1), 3 and 1

Perez won four holes on the front nine and built a 2-up lead through eight holes. But Simpson won four straight holes beginning at No. 9 to take a 2-up lead of his own. Perez missed a 10-footer for birdie at the par-5 16th that would’ve cut his deficit to 1 down, and then Simpson hit his tee ball to 13 feet at the par-3 17th and was conceded the hole and the match. Perez is eliminated.

Si Woo Kim (1-0-1) def. Gary Woodland (0-1-1), 5 and 3

Kim won the first hole with par and never looked back as Woodland struggled to make birdies. He made just two and was conceded another. On the other hand, Woodland conceded two straight holes to Kim, at Nos. 11 and 12, and Kim went 5 up after that. Woodland is eliminated while Kim will play Simpson on Friday for the right to advance.

Group 16

Matt Kuchar (1-0-1) def. Yuta Ikeda (1-1), 1 up

Kuchar led for much of the way, going 3 up after four holes. Ikeda squared the match with birdie on the par-5 16th after Kuchar had to lay up out of a fairway bunker, but Kuchar took the difficult par-3 17th with par to give himself a good chance of winning the group. If he wins or ties Ross Fisher on Friday and Ikeda loses to Zach Johnson, Kuchar advances.

Ross Fisher (1-1) def. Zach Johnson (0-1-1), 2 up

Johnson was 2 up after three holes but lost two holes with bogey and conceded another on the front nine. Fisher birdied two straight on the back to take a 2-up lead and Johnson could never get closer than 1 down after that. Johnson is eliminated.

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