WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play - Day 2

Majestic Molinari marches on in Austin

March 27-31
Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas
$10,250,000
Day 1, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Francesco Molinari’s love affair with match play golf continued at Austin Country Club as the Italian cruised to a second successive victory in the group stages of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, beating his fellow 2018 Ryder Cup team-mate Thorbjørn Olesen 4&3.

Majestic Molinari marches on in Austin, © Getty Images

© Getty Images


The reigning Race to Dubai Champion has won more holes than any other player this week after the opening two days of play in Texas, with 15, while he is the only player to have won both of his matches prior to the 16 th hole.

“It was somewhat similar to yesterday – very good start the first six, eight holes and tried to control his comebacks. I have a lot of respect for Thorbjørn as a player, so I knew it was going not be an easy match. He fought hard today and obviously played some solid golf. So hopefully more to come the next few days.”

Including his incredible 100 per cent record at The Ryder Cup last September, Molinari has now won seven consecutive match play encounters in which he has played, and he faces Webb Simpson in Round Three hoping to seal his passage to the weekend knockout stages.

Henrik Stenson, meanwhile, will face off with the USA’s 2020 Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk in a winner-takes-all clash, with both players having won their opening two matches. Justin Rose will also play Gary Woodland knowing a win will see him through.

“I played okay,” said Stenson. “It’s difficult out there. You’ve got a course where the standard is quite high. It’s undulated greens and it’s blowing a good two-club wind. It’s difficult to get it right. A lot of times with the shorter clubs it’s probably even harder to get the yardages right than with some longer irons.

“It was difficult conditions. I played pretty solid and didn’t give much for free, even though I tried on one or two occasions. I kept it together nicely, and he gave me one or two easy holes, and other than that I thought I had it under control most of the day.”

Lucas Bjerregaard, Branden Grace, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, Li Haotong, Rory McIlroy all hold the outright lead in their respective groups heading into Day Three.

“This is fun. Obviously I wish there were more of these events in a year, even if there’s just one more,” said Grace. “But I think it’s tricky around a golf course like this because it’s elevated. There’s a lot of wind. It’s open.


“You still have to hit it in the fairways, you can’t always just play the golf course and try and make birdies. You have to keep your eye on what your opponent is doing, and feed off that and make decisions according to that.

“It’s always nice to beat the Number One player in the world. I knew it was going to be a lot of solid golf. And he obviously made a couple of birdies here and there, obviously with the power that he can get on the golf ball.”

Among those players still in with a shout of qualifying should they win their final group match include European Tour members Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Billy Horschel, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Olesen, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Matt Wallace.


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