McIlroy Leads Field of 16 at Match Play
No. 1 Rory McIlroy is through to the round of 16 at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championships, but he won’t see many familiar faces from his fellows ranked in the world’s top 10.
McIlroy and No. 5 Jim Furyk are the only players from the world’s Top 10 to win their round-robin groups on Friday at the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, five of the final 16 players are from the bottom bracket – golfers ranked between 48th to 64th (and beyond due to alternates).
McIlroy will take on No. 16 Hideki Matsuyama Saturday at 11:14 am., beginning 12 minutes after one of the more unlikely pairings of the final 16, as the UK’s Paul Casey, ranked 37th, will take on South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, ranked 38th.
Furyk will battle No. 12 J.B. Holmes at 10:38 a.m. while a resurgent Rickie Fowler, ranked 13th, takes on No. 30 Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa at 10:50 a.m.
The biggest underdog in the whole field, Australia’s No. 65 John Senden, who went 3-0, battles former champion Hunter Mahan, ranked 32nd, at 10:02 a.m., just after the biggest longshot matchup of the whole field takes place – the US’ Gary Woodland, ranked 52nd, battles Australia’s Marc Leishman, ranked 60th.
A third South African, Branden Grace, ranked 39th, takes on the UK’s Tommy Fleetwood (No. 57) at 10:14 a.m. and a match of two Brits – No. 49 Danny Willett and No. 27 Lee Westwood – begins at 10:26 a.m.
Grace’s win in Group 7 was the most dramatic of the day, as his round-robin victory over Zach Johnson forced a three-way playoff between the pair and Charley Hoffman.
All three men birdied No. 1 and parred No. 2, but Grace added a birdie on No. 3 to take the victory.
Friday’s complete results:
Group 1: Rory McIlroy def. Billy Horschel 20 holes; Jason Dufner def. Brandt Snedeker 1 up.
Group 16: Hideki Matsuyama def. Kevin Na 5&4; Joost Luiten def. Alexander Levy 1 up.
Group 8: Dustin Johnson def. Victor Dubuisson 2&1; Charl Schwartzel def. Matt Jones 20 holes.
Group 9: Chris Kirk def. Adam Scott 1 up; Paul Casey def. Francesco Molinari 1 up.
Group 2: Lee Westwood def. Jordan Spieth 2 up; Mikko Ilonen def. Matt Every 8&6.
Group 15: Patrick Reed def. Ryan Moore 1 up; Danny Willett def. Andy Sullivan 1 up.
Group 7: Zach Johnson def. Jason Day 3&2; Branden Grace def. Charley Hoffman 2&1.
Group 10: Jamie Donaldson def. Sergio Garcia 2&1; Tommy Fleetwood def. Bernd Wiesberger 19 holes.
Group 3: Bill Haas def. Henrik Stenson 3&1; John Senden def. Brendon Todd 1 up.
Group 14: Ben Martin def. Stephen Gallacher 20 holes; Hunter Mahan def. Matt Kuchar 1 up.
Group 6: Justin Rose def. Ryan Palmer 2&1; Marc Leishman def. Anirban Lahiri 1 up
Group 11: Ian Poulter def. Jimmy Walker 4&2; Gary Woodland def. Webb Simpson 1 up.
Group 4: Louis Oosthuizen def. Bubba Watson 19 holes; Miguel Angel Jimenez def. Keegan Bradley 2 up.
Group 13: Rickie Fowler def. Graeme McDowell 5&4; Harris English def. Shane Lowry 1 up.
Group 5: Jim Furyk def. Martin Kaymer 20 holes; George Coetzee def. Thongchai Jaidee 21 holes.
Group 12: J.B. Holmes def. Brook Kopeka (2&1); Russell Henley def. Marc Warren 1 up.