McIlroy, Spieth Cruise to 2-0 Starts in San Francisco
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, the top two players in the world rankings, cruised to easy wins in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship on Thursday in San Francisco, but both will play undefeated opponents on Friday in the round-robin finales.
McIlroy eased by Brandt Snedeker 2 up while Spieth defeated Matt Every 4&3. McIlroy will take on Billy Horschel, who improved to 2-0 by knocking off Jason Dufner 3&2, while Spieth takes on Lee Westwood, who edged Mikko Ilonen 1 up.
The biggest surprise to date has been the play of John Senden, ranked 65th in the world. A day after knocking off Henrik Stenson, Senden eased past Bill Haas 4&3 to improve to 2-0.
Group 4 will also see two undefeated players square off on Friday. Bubba Watson stayed perfect with a 4&2 win over Keegan Bradley while Louis Oosthuizen edged Miguel Angel Jimenez 2 up.
Group 5 is anybody’s ballgame, as all four players are 1-1 through two days.
In Group 6, Marc Leishman of all people has the inside track after knocking off Ryan Palmer 4&3 to improve to 2-0.
Group 7 is Charley Hoffman’s to lose after he nipped Zach Johnson 2&1 on Thursday. Defending tournament champion Jason Day slid to 0-2 after falling to Branden Grace 4&3.
Group 8 saw Charl Schwartzel outduel Dustin Johnson over 20 holes to improve to 2-0, while Paul Casey edged Adam Scott in Group 9 to also make it to 2-0.
Group 10 will also feature four players at 1-1 after both lower seeds won on Thursday, including Tommy Fleetwood taking 21 holes to outlast Jamie Donaldson.
Group 11 will be a showdown of unlikely undefeated players: No. 47 Webb Simpson and No. 52 Gary Woodland are 0-2 while No. 11 Jimmy Walker and No. 28 Ian Poulter have both started 0-2.
Brooks Koepka is the only 2-0 player in Group 12 thanks to a 20-hole win over Marc Warren. Rickie Fowler is one of the rare top seeds in a lower group to actually be leading it, he’s 2-0 after defeating Shane Lowry.
Former tournament champion Hunter Mahan leads Group 14 at 2-0, while England’s Danny Willett has started 2-0 thanks to a exciting 2&1 win over No. 15 Patrick Reed in Group 15.
Group 16 belongs to Hideki Matsuyama who slipped past Joost Luiten 2 up and is 2-0.
Thursday’s complete results are as follows:
Group 1: Rory McIlroy def. Brandt Snedeker 2 up; Billy Horschel def. Jason Dufner 3&2.
Group 2: Jordan Spieth def. Matt Every 4&3; Lee Westwood def. Mikko Ilonen 1 up.
Group 3: Henrik Stenson def. Brendon Todd 3&2; John Senden def. Bill Haas 4&3.
Group 4: Bubba Watson def. Keegan Bradley 4&2; Louis Oosthuizen def. Miguel Angel Jimenez 2 up.
Group 5: Thongchai Jaidee def. Jim Furyk 3&1; George Coetzee def. Martin Kaymer, 19 holes.
Group 6: Justin Rose def. Anirban Lahiri, 19 holes; Marc Leishman def. Ryan Palmer 4&3.
Group 7: Branden Grace def. Jason Day 4&3; Charley Hoffman def. Zach Johnson 2&1.
Group 8: Charl Schwartzel def. Dustin Johnson 20 holes; Matt Jones def. Victor Dubuisson 2 up.
Group 9: Paul Casey def. Adam Scott 1 up; Chris Kirk def. Francesco Molinari 2&1.
Group 10: Bernd Wiesberger def. Sergio Garcia 2&1; Tommy Fleetwood def. Jamie Donaldson 21 holes.
Group 11: Webb Simpson def. Jimmy Walker 19 holes; Gary Woodland def. Ian Poulter 3&2.
Group 12: J.B. Holmes def. Russell Henley 19 holes; Brooks Koepka def. Marc Warren 20 holes.
Group 13: Rickie Fowler def. Shane Lowry 1 up; Harris English def. Graeme McDowell 2&1.
Group 14: Matt Kuchar def. Stephen Gallacher 3&2; Hunter Mahan def. ben Martin 5&3.
Group 15: Danny Willett def. Patrick Reed 2&1; Andy Sullivan def. Ryan Moore 3&2.
Group 16: Hideki Matsuyama def. Joost Luiten 2 up; Kevin Na def. Alexander Levy 3&1.