Thursday, 24 March 2016
Austin CC  (European Tour)
Austin CC (European Tour)
An intriguing opening day at the WGC-Dell Match Play offered plenty to get excited about heading into Thursday at Austin Country Club. While reigning champion Rory McIlroy edged past Thorbjorn Olesen in dramatic fashion, securing victory in their Group 3 match on the final hole, Thomas Pieters held Adam Scott, winner of the first World Golf Championship event of the year, in a tense Group 6 encounter.
We look ahead to the pick of the second round robin matches, where more potential dress rehearsals for The 2016 Ryder Cup could take place.

Rory Putts

Patrick Reed v Matthew Fitzpatrick – Group 9

A self-confessed lover of match play and previous winner of a WGC event, Patrick Reed will take on Matthew Fitzpatrick in an American vs. European clash, with the latter eager to gain his first point of the tournament. The 21 year old, who could make his Ryder Cup debut in September, was beaten by the experienced Phil Mickelson in his opening match, but does have some happy match play memories. Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur Championship three years ago in the knock out format, becoming the first Englishman to lift the trophy in 104 years.

Rory Putts

Louis Oosthuizen v Bernd Wiesberger – Group 16

Louis Oosthuizen got his tournament off to the perfect start on Wednesday, beating Australian Matt Jones 2&1. Bernd Wiesberger will provide the 2010 Open Champion with a stern test on day two and will take some confidence from the way he finished his match against Andy Sullivan yesterday. Despite losing 3&2, the Austrian picked up three shots in the space of two holes on the back nine and will need to produce similar form to have a chance of progressing from the group.

Rory Putts

Adam Scott v Chris Wood – Group 6

Chris Wood has previous in providing shocks in the top events with two top five finishes in consecutive Open Championships in 2008 and 2009 a shining example of the Englishman's ability to compete against the best. A 2&1 defeat to Bill Haas on the first day will give Wood extra incentive to upset the winner of this year’s WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Rory Putts

Zach Johnson v Martin Kaymer – Group 14

Between them, Zach Johnson and Martin Kaymer have won all four Major Championships and could serve up one of the matches of the day if both are on form. The German showcased glimpses of his best in his opening match against Shane Lowry, driving the 18th green from 376-yards on his way to victory and he will need more of the same to get the better of The 2015 Open Champion Johnson.

Rory Putts

Shane Lowry v Marcus Fraser – Group 14

Two short game experts will face off in the other match in Group 14, with both Lowry and Marcus Fraser eager to atone for defeats on day one. Fraser displayed some excellent touches around the greens on his way to victory at the Maybank Championship Malaysia earlier this year and also sank a terrific 57 foot putt for eagle yesterday. Lowry claimed his first WGC title at the Bridgestone Invitational last year and will need to make the most of his short game expertise if he is to stand a chance of progressing from a tough group.


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