Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy all enjoyed wins on day two at Austin Country Club; Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton had their exits confirmed; Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 24/03/23 6:43am
Rory McIlroy made it two wins from two after the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after a sensational finish to his group match against Denny McCarthy in Texas.
McIlroy was three down after six holes against McCarthy at Austin Country Club, only to battle back to take the lead with a birdie on the 16th and remain one ahead going to the par-four last.
The world No 3’s tee shot on the the 375-yard hole finished just four feet from the pin and led to a conceded eagle, securing a two-hole win, meaning McIlroy now just requires a half from Friday’s match with Keegan Bradley to progress to the knockout stages.
“I feel like 12-18 is my stretch of the golf course where I can really exert my advantage over anyone I play with the length I have,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “It has served me well over the last few years and thankfully did so again today.”
World No 1 and defending champion Scottie Scheffler won six holes without reply as he came from behind to secure a comfortable 5&4 win over Alex Noren, making it two wins from two, while Jon Rahm stormed to a 4&3 win over Keith Mitchell to pick up his first point of the tournament.
Rahm bounced back from Wednesday’s 2&1 defeat to Rickie Fowler in style, going in front at the very first hole before pulling well clear of American Mitchell on the back nine by winning three successive holes from the 11th.
Ryder Cup teammates Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood suffered disappointing early exits, with Lowry’s defeat to Mackenzie Hughes and Fleetwood’s half with Maverick McNealy ensured neither could qualify for the knockout stages.
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Billy Horschel, who won this event in 2021, tops Rahm’s pool on 1.5 points ahead of the pair meeting in a winner-takes-all clash on Friday.
“Not many pairings are going to have more electricity on the course than me and Billy combined so it should be a good one,” Rahm said.
Lowry, who bogeyed two of the first four holes against Hughes and found himself five down after seven, briefly threatened to make a comeback as he won the 10th with a par and then eagled the par-five 12th.
However, he promptly found water off the tee on the next and a sixth match play loss of the year – following defeats in all four matches in January’s Hero Cup – was confirmed when Hughes birdied the 15th.
Lowry faces Jordan Spieth on Friday but the destiny of group 12 is in the hands of Taylor Montgomery, who beat Spieth 2&1 and takes on Hughes in the final round of group matches.
Fleetwood birdied the 18th to avoid a second defeat of the week in a group surprisingly headed by JT Poston, the American following his victory over Fleetwood with another against Sungjae Im.
Tyrell Hatton also suffered an early exit after losing 2&1 to Australia’s Lucas Herbert.
Watch the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf.