Woods prevails, Aussies struggle at Dell Match Play

There were a few close calls but three-time champion Tiger Woods eventually came out on top on day one of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas.

43-year-old Woods, who has not played this event since 2013, defeated 22-year-old Aaron Wise 3&1 following a rollercoaster round that the former World No.1 described as ‘emotional’.

“It was a pretty emotional match because we were up and down, up and down. There weren’t a lot of holes halved. And I was just kind of hanging in there. I was up early and then all of a sudden I’m down,” said Woods.

Woods took the advantage early and held a 2up lead coming to the 8th hole, however, three birdies in a row from Wise flipped the match on its head and the 2018 Rookie Of The Year took a 1up lead at the 10th hole.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: PGA Tour)

Woods then went on to secure wins at the 11th, 13th, 15th holes before putting a final nail in the coffin with a par at the 17th following a three-putt from Wise to claim the match 3&1.

“It wasn’t exactly the best of golf out there from both of us. We gave a few holes away with bogeys and three-putts, and we won a few holes with some good birdies.”

“The way we were playing today, we’re very thankful it’s not stroke play,” joked Woods.

The news was not as good for the Australians with Jason Day going down to Jim Furyk 2&1 while Cameron Smith was an unlikely scalp for Charles Howell III at 2&1.

Marc Leishman collected his first win of the week taking down Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2up.

Leishman will play Scotland’s Russell Knox tomorrow in round two while Jason Day will take on Henrik Stenson and Cameron Smith will line up against 2018 Australian Open champion, Abraham Ancer.

Day One Scores – WGC Dell Matchplay

  • Andrew Putnam def. Patrick Reed – 3&2
  • Branden Grace def. Hideki Matsuyama – 4&3
  • Brooks Koepka – halved – Tom Lewis – A/S
  • Bryson DeChambeau def. Russell Knox – 3&1
  • Charles Howell III def. Cameron Smith – 2&1
  • Dustin Johnson def. Chez Reavie – 4&3
  • Francesco Molinari def. Satoshi Kodaira – 5&4
  • Gary Woodland def. Eddie Pepperell – 2&1
  • HaoTong Li def. Alex Noren – 5&4
  • Henrik Stenson def. Phil Mickelson – 2&1
  • Ian Poulter def. Kevin Kisner – 2up
  • Jim Furyk def. Jason Day – 2up
  • Jon Rahm def. Si Woo Kim – 7&5
  • Jordan Spieth – halved – Billy Horschel – A/S
  • Justin Harding def. Matthew Fitzpatrick – 1up
  • Justin Rose def. Emiliano Grillo – 2&1
  • Kevin Na def. Bubba Watson – 1up
  • Kyle Stanley def. Louis Oosthuizen – 3&2
  • Lucas Bjerregaard def. Justin Thomas – 3&2
  • Marc Leishman def. Kiradech Aphibarnrat – 2up
  • Matt Kuchar def. J.B. Holmes – 3&1
  • Matt Wallace def. Keegan Bradley – 1up
  • Patrick Cantlay – halved – Brandt Snedeker – A/S
  • Paul Casey def. Abraham Ancer – 5&3
  • Rory McIlroy def. Luke List – 5&4
  • Sergio Garcia def. Shane Lowry – 4&2
  • Thorbjørn Olesen def. Webb Simpson – 2&1
  • Tiger Woods def. Aaron Wise – 3&1
  • Tommy Fleetwood def. Byeong Hun An – 3&2
  • Tony Finau def. Keith Mitchell – 2&1
  • Tyrrell Hatton def. Rafa Cabrera Bello – 4&3
  • Xander Schauffele def. Lee Westwood – 1up