AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Dell Technologies Match Play (all times CDT):
Bob MacIntyre of Scotland gave the world’s No. 1 player all he could handle in the Dell Technologies Match Play. In fact, Dustin Johnson had to rally just to escape with a tie.
MacIntyre build a 2-up lead with three holes to play Thursday when Johnson birdied the 16th, and then tied the match with a tough 18-footer. That sent the match down the 18th, and both players had birdie chances that missed.
Johnson and MacIntyre are 1-0-1 in the group. If both win their matches on Friday, they would face each other again in a sudden-death playoff. Johnson has not advanced out of group play since he won the Match Play in 2017.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy kept his hopes alive by beating Lanto Griffin. McIlroy will still need some help to advance.
Bryson DeChambeau sure knows how to make things interesting.
The U.S. Open champion won his second match as a pro in the Dell Technologies Match Play with a 2-and-1 victory over Si Woo Kim. Only five of the 17 holes were halved, and that wasn’t the half of it.
DeChambeau appeared to be cruising along. He was 1 up at the turn when his tee shot on No. 10 hit a tree and ricocheted against the picket fence surrounding the practice green. It was about 30 yards to his right. Players on the green, such as Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele, had to move to the other side of the putting green.
He wound up dropping by the tee and lost the hole. Then, he hit into the water on the 11th and lost that hole.
DeChambeau was 1 down with five holes to play when he made a 25-foot birdie on the 14th hole, and then he took the lead when Kim missed a 5-foot par putt.
Make it eight in a row for Kevin Kisner.
The defending champion in the Dell Technologies Match Play built a big lead over Justin Thomas and then hung on to beat the No. 2 seed in 17 holes. Kisner won his eight straight match. That’s the fifth-longest streak since this tournament began in 1999, with Tiger Woods holding the record at 13 in a row.
Along the way, Kisner eliminated Thomas.
For the second straight day, Thomas fell behind big and couldn’t rally. He was 5 down against Matt Kuchar and lost the match on the 16th hole. He was 4 down at he turn against Kisner, closed within 1 hole with five to go but couldn’t make another birdie.
Kisner next has to play Louis Oosthuizen for a match to win his group.
Jordan Spieth never trailed the entire match and it still felt like a loss.
Spieth was on the verge of going 2-0 in the Dell Technologies Match Play when he took a 2-up lead over Matthew Wolff to the 17th hole at Austin Country Club. And then Spieth didn’t finish either of the last two holes and had to settle for a tie.
He went from the hazard to a bunker and across the green to another bunker on the other side. On the 18th, Spieth got a break when his tee shot hit someone in the crowd and gave him a good look at the green. But he came up short, chipped long and missed the par putt.
Spieth and Wolff are 1-0-1 and both can advance out of the group if they win matches tomorrow. But if they win their matches, they would have a sudden-death playoff.
No one is playing better than Patrick Cantlay at the Dell Technologies Match Play. No one is having to work harder.
Through two rounds at Austin Country Club, Cantlay would be the equivalent of 15-under par. In both matches, he had to sweat it out on the 18th green for a 1-up victory.
Cantlay and Carlos Ortiz of Mexico both played so well Thursday that they halved 15 of the 18 holes. Cantlay took the lead with a 6-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole. They matched 6-footers for par and 5-footers for birdie, and then Cantlay won the match when Ortiz missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole.
Cantlay now is 2-0 in group play and faces one more match against Hideki Matsuyama to advance to the knockout stage on the weekend. He doesn’t expect it to be easy.
The second round of group play at the Dell Technologies Match Play could be the end of the line for some of the top stars if they lose another match Thursday. That includes Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy.
All three lost their opening matches. One more loss and they will be mathematically eliminated from being able to win their groups to advance to the weekend knockout stage.
Thomas is the No. 2 seed. He was trounced by Matt Kuchar, and now faces defending champion Kevin Kisner. McIlroy, who lost in 13 holes to Ian Poulter, faces Lanto Griffin.
DeChambeau was beaten by France’s Antoine Rozner and now plays Si Woo Kim.
DeChambeau won the U.S. Amateur in 2015. Since turning pro, he lost his singles match at the 2018 Ryder Cup and halved with Adam Hadwin in the 2019 Presidents Cup. In the Dell Match Play two years ago, he went 1-2 and failed to advance out of his group.
(This item has been corrected to show that DeChambeau won his first match last time at the Dell Match Play.)
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