WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play - Day 3

Brilliant Bjerregaard progresses to sweet 16 on Match Play debut

March 27-31
Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas
$10,250,000
Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, Day 5


A record-breaking eight Europeans progressed to the Round of 16 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after another fascinating day at Austin Country Club, with Lucas Bjerregaard the only debutant in the field to top his group – setting up a clash against fellow Scandinavian Henrik Stenson.

Brilliant Bjerregaard progresses to sweet 16 on Match Play debut, © Getty Images

© Getty Images


Bjerregard’s match with England’s Matt Wallace went all the way to the 18th hole, but the 27 year old battled to a 1up victory to join nine other European Tour members in the final 16. Stenson, meanwhile, beat 2020 Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk 5&4 to make it three successive victories.

“I had not seen anything from Justin’s match,” said Bjerregaard. “My caddie is the one who told me when I missed the one on 18 that he had halved. I just knew that I had to win. It’s been a couple of stressful days but I’m happy to come out and go through.

“It should be fun. I like Henrik. I don’t think I’ve ever played with him, actually. But it should be fun. And he’s obviously been playing well too. So we should have a good game, and I’ll tease him a little. We’ll have a little bit of Swedish-Danish thing going on.”

The 2018 Race to Dubai Champion Francesco Molinari also retained his 100 per cent record with a 2&1 triumph over Webb Simpson, as did Branden Grace – the South African overcoming Chez Reavie 2&1 to set up a showdown with Ryder Cup legend Sergio Garcia, who progressed despite a 2&1 defeat to Patrick Reed.

“Obviously that was the goal, to get through,” said Garcia. “In the perfect world, I would have loved to win today and I probably had my chances to do it. But you also have to give credit to Patrick, he played really well, mainly the back nine. He shot five-under in eight holes.

“So when someone does that to you and you don’t take a couple of chances that you had, it’s going to be difficult. But we’re through tomorrow. That’s the main thing on this round-robin thing. And now tomorrow it’s a brand new tournament.”


The first day of the knockout stages has thrown up numerous mouth-watering matches in Texas, with Molinari taking on his 2018 Ryder Cup team-mate Paul Casey – who beat Cameron Smith 4&3 to top his group – while World Number Two Justin Rose ground out a 1up victory over Gary Woodland to remain unbeaten. He will face Kevin Na in the first knockout stage.

Haotong Li of China overcame Sweden’s Alex Noren in a play-off to squeeze through and he will come up against last year’s runner-up Kevin Kisner, who beat Ian Poulter on the third play-off hole to win his group.

“The whole day was just like a roller coaster, and I didn’t play solid the whole day,” said Li.” I was a little bit off on my tee shots and I think that was it. And on my final hole, the 18th , I was just a little bit nervous and hit the putt a little soft, and it didn’t get enough break.

“But I felt like if happens, it happens. I felt like I ran out of all the energy already. I need to get something, recover and let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Tyrrell Hatton beat his English compatriot Lee Westwood 3&1 and he will face Matt Kuchar in the Round of 16, while Louis Oosthuizen triumphed over 2017 European Tour Number One Tommy Fleetwood to set up a clash with Marc Leishman.

All eyes in Texas though, are likely to be on the 8:30am match which pitches World Number Four Rory McIlroy against 14-time Major Champion Tiger Woods.


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