David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Group-stage play continued for a second day in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Thursday at Austin Country Club.
Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Bryson DeChambeau rebounded from a loss to Antoine Rozner to beat Si Woo Kim 2 and 1. Likewise, Rory McIlroy got his first win to balance out an opening day summed up by a tee shot that landed in the pool of a nearby homeowner.
Top seed Dustin Johnson, on the other hand, had to settle for a tie with Robert MacIntyre.
Round 2 Results
Group 1: Dustin Johnson tied Robert MacIntyre
Group 1: Adam Long def. Kevin Na (2 and 1)
Group 2: Kevin Kisner def. Justin Thomas (2 and 1)
Group 2: Matt Kuchar def. Louis Oosthuizen (1 up)
Group 3: Jon Rahm def. Shane Lowry (2 up)
Group 3: Ryan Palmer def. Sebastian Munoz (2 and 1)
Group 4: Max Homa def. Collin Morikawa (2 and 1)
Group 4: J.T. Poston def. Billy Horschel (4 and 2)
Group 5: Bryson DeChambeau def. Si Woo Kim (2 and 1)
Group 5: Tommy Fleetwood def. Antoine Rozner (4 and 3)
Group 6: Xander Schauffele def. Jason Day (2 and 1)
Group 6: Scottie Scheffler tied Andy Sullivan
Group 7: Patrick Reed def. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (2 and 1)
Group 7: Joaquin Niemann tied Bubba Watson
Group 8: Sergio Garcia def. Tyrrell Hatton (3 and 2)
Group 8: Lee Westwood def. Matt Wallace (5 and 3)
Group 9: Mackenzie Hughes def. Webb Simpson (4 and 3)
Group 9: Paul Casey def. Talor Gooch (3 and 2)
Group 10: Patrick Cantlay def. Carlos Ortiz (1 up)
Group 10: Brian Harman def. Hideki Matsuyama (1 up)
Group 11: Rory McIlroy def. Lanto Griffin (4 and 3)
Group 11: Ian Poulter def. Cameron Smith (1 up)
Group 12: Tony Finau tied Will Zalatoris
Group 12: Dylan Frittelli def. Jason Kokrak (3 and 2)
Group 13: Bernd Wiesberger def. Viktor Hovland (4 and 2)
Group 13: Abraham Ancer def. Kevin Streelman (2 and 1)
Group 14: Brendon Todd def. Daniel Berger (2 and 1)
Group 14: Erik van Rooyen def. Harris English (2 and 1)
Group 15: Matt Fitzpatrick def. Corey Conners (5 and 4)
Group 15: Matthew Wolff tied Jordan Spieth
Group 16: Marc Leishman def. Sungjae Im (2 and 1)
Group 16: Russell Henley def. Victor Perez (4 and 3)
A slow start doomed McIlroy against Ian Poulter. He fell behind by three holes as he approached the No. 6 tee and couldn’t climb back from that deficit.
It was the opposite story against Lanto Griffin. The 2015 tournament champion took the first three holes to build a commanding lead. His advantage shrunk to one-up as they made the turn to the back nine but then swelled back to four-up through 13 holes.
“It was big,” McIlroy told reporters of the result. “Obviously winning the match keeps me in the tournament but I didn’t play that badly yesterday. I hit a couple of destructive shots but Poults played very well and deserved to win the match.”
DeChambeau led for most of the way against Kim but struggled to build any distance on the No. 48 seed. Kim was briefly ahead on the back nine after taking the 10th and 11th holes.
DeChambeau battled back on No. 14 to tie things up, and a par on No. 15 was enough to put him on top once again. He dealt the final blow with a par on No. 17 to leave Kim with no road to victory.
One benefit of match play is that a bad shot doesn’t have as big of an impact as it would on a traditional round. On No. 10, DeChambeau attempted to reach the green off the tee and instead sliced the shot so badly it went nearly 90 degrees to the right of the tee box.
Laughing off one of those misfires is a lot easier when you still pull out the win.
Johnson’s tie with MacIntyre was a tale of two halves. Johnson was one-up for seven of the first eight holes before MacIntyre leveled the score with a birdie on No. 9. The 24-year-old Scot then overtook Johnson and led for the first seven holes of the back nine.
A late surge by the two-time major champion allowed him to at least avoid defeat. He eagled the 16th hole and birdied No. 17.
Kevin Kisner’s defense of his 2019 WGC Match Play title is rolling along nicely. The 37-year-old prevailed in a head-to-head clash with Louis Oosthuizen and dealt Justin Thomas his second loss Thursday.
Kisner was four-up through seven holes to put early pressure on Thomas, who claimed three straight holes on the back nine to almost erase the deficit. Unfortunately for Thomas, Kisner held strong the rest of the way and sealed his victory on No. 17 as both golfers recorded a par.
The round-robin group stage will continue for one more day before the field winnows to 16 golfers for the knockout stages.