WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play - Day 1

Successful opening day for European Tour members in Austin

March 27-31
Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas
$10,250,000
Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Successful opening day for European Tour members in Austin, © Getty Images
Shane Lowry and Sergio Garcia

© Getty Images


It was a hugely successful opening day for the stars of the European Tour at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, with Francesco Molinari, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey among the 18 Members to register victories, while Tom Lewis halved his match with World Number Three Brooks Koepka.

“I played really well, made some nice putts at the beginning and throughout the match.,” said Molinari. “So I’m really happy the way I played. Obviously, it’s a little bit easier when you start that way, but you still have to play a lot of golf and close the match out.

“So there were a couple of moments where I could have done maybe better, but all in all a very good day. It’s great to start with a win. It doesn’t mean a lot unfortunately, with this format. So I need to show up tomorrow and try to play some similar golf to today.”

There were a plethora of notable stories at Austin Country Club in Round One of the Group Stage, with Stenson overcoming Phil Mickelson 2&1 in a rerun of one of the greatest final round battles in Open Championship history back in 2016.

“You could say it maybe wasn’t the most well-played match from either one of us,” said Stenson, “but there were still some good golf in there. I was pretty happy with my performance today. I hit some really nice iron shots and made a couple of important putts, as well.

“Phil is always worth the price of admission. He hit some fabulous short-game shots on three or four moles holes. He’s in some areas where you just can’t get up and down, and he’s Phil Mickelson and he gets it up and down. So that’s always tough to compete against.”

Lucas Bjerregaard and Lewis both produced massive upsets as the Dane beat World Number Five Justin Thomas 3&2, while the Englishmen Lewis – who was playing on the Challenge Tour a mere six months ago – clinched a half point against three-time Major Champion Koepka.

Matt Wallace also won on his debut, overcoming former Major Champion Keegan Bradley, as did Justin Harding who staged a remarkable comeback to beat Matt Fitzpatrick, having been two down stepping onto the 16 th tee.

Ryder Cup legend Sergio Garcia beat the current Race to Dubai leader Shane Lowry 4&2, while Ian Poulter – a former winner of this event – sealed a two-up victory over Kevin Kisner. Tiger Woods won his opening Group Stage match, beating Aaron Wise 3&1, while four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy cruised to a 5&4 triumph over Luke List.

“It was a fun match,” said Poulter. “Up, down, up, all square with a couple to go, so it was interesting. When you’re two-up with four to play, you hit a great shot in there to about five feet and Kevin had a putt from about 15 or 17 feet. You’ve always got to expect him to hole it, which he did. But I wasn’t expecting to miss my 5-footer there. So that was a bit of a shame.

“And then I hit driver-driver on 16, which I’d like to play the hole over again. It doesn’t matter now. It kind of got up on to the green and it just trickled off and obviously he holes out from 70 yards, he goes square, and it’s really game on from a position where I kind of had control of it.

“And I had a big putt there at 17 to leave myself just under the hole to give myself a right-to-left putt, which was a good one. I holed it, and obviously up and down from the last.”

“And I had a big putt there at 17 to leave myself just under the hole to give myself a right-to-left putt, which was a good one. I holed it, and obviously up and down from the last.”


Player
Match Status
Player
Group 11
Tommy Fleetwood ENG
>
3&2
Byeong Hun An KOR
Group 11
Louis Oosthuizen RSA
3&2
<
Kyle Stanley USA
Group 6
Bryson DeChambeau USA
>
3&1
Russell Knox SCO
Group 6
Marc Leishman AUS
>
2 Up
Kiradech Aphibarnrat THA
Group 14
Tony Finau USA
>
2&1
Keith Mitchell USA
Group 14
Ian Poulter ENG
>
2 Up
Kevin Kisner USA
Group 3
Brooks Koepka USA
Halved
Tom Lewis ENG
Group 3
Alex Noren SWE
5&4
<
HaoTong Li CHN
Group 10
Paul Casey ENG
>
5&3
Abraham Ancer MEX
Group 10
Cameron Smith AUS
2&1
<
Charles Howell III USA
Group 7
Francesco Molinari ITA
>
5&4
Satoshi Kodaira JAP
Group 7
Webb Simpson USA
2&1
<
Thorbjørn Olesen DEN
Group 15
Bubba Watson USA
1 Up
<
Kevin Na USA
Group 15
Jordan Spieth USA
Halved
Billy Horschel USA
Group 2
Justin Rose ENG
>
2&1
Emiliano Grillo ARG
Group 2
Gary Woodland USA
>
2&1
Eddie Pepperell ENG
Group 12
Jason Day AUS
2 Up
<
Jim Furyk USA
Group 12
Phil Mickelson USA
2&1
<
Henrik Stenson SWE
Group 5
Justin Thomas USA
3&2
<
Lucas Bjerregaard DEN
Group 5
Keegan Bradley USA
1 Up
<
Matt Wallace ENG
Group 13
Tiger Woods USA
>
3&1
Aaron Wise USA
Group 13
Patrick Cantlay USA
Halved
Brandt Snedeker USA
Group 4
Rory McIlroy NIR
>
5&4
Luke List USA
Group 4
Matthew Fitzpatrick ENG
1 Up
<
Justin Harding RSA
Group 9
Xander Schauffele USA
>
1 Up
Lee Westwood ENG
Group 9
Rafa Cabrera Bello ESP
4&3
<
Tyrell Hatton ENG
Group 8
Jon Rahm ESP
>
7&5
Si Woo Kim KOR
Group 8
Matt Kuchar USA
>
3&1
J.B. Holmes USA
Group 16
Patrick Reed USA
3&2
<
Andrew Putnam USA
Group 16
Sergio Garcia ESP
>
4&2
Shane Lowry IRE
Group 1
Dustin Johnson USA
>
4&3
Chez Reavie USA
Group 1
Hideki Matsuyama JAP
4&3
<
Branden Grace RSA