Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson lose Match Play openers
Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson suffered surprise defeats in their opening matches at the World Golf Championships Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Northern Irishman, who claimed his first title in 18 months at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, went down 2&1 to America’s Peter Uihlein in his opening Group 6 game.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 21, 2018
Defending champion Johnson, meanwhile, went down 3&1 to Austria’s Bernd Weisberger.
The defeats mean the two face a struggle to qualify for the last 16.
Rory Golf 🚀 pic.twitter.com/bQduSUNiKe
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 22, 2018
McIlroy will need to beat both Jhonattan Vegas on Thursday and Brian Harman on Friday while hoping other scores go his way, while Johnson will also need two wins from his remaining matches.
Following his defeat, McIlroy said: “I didn’t really necessarily play badly,” McIlroy said. “He played pretty well. He was a few under through nine and he didn’t make a bogey all day. So it was hard to claw my way back.
“It was gusty out there; the conditions were a little tricky. I made a run at him at the end but it was a little too late.”
Weisberger, a European Ryder Cup hopeful, was obviously happy with his win over the world number one.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 21, 2018
“I still didn’t play great but somehow managed to get it done and I’m just happy with that,” said Wiesberger. “I thought it was the easiest game I could have; I’m the underdog playing with the defending champion.”
In other action, world number two Justin Thomas avoided an embarrassing loss to Luke List, who was forced to putt with a wedge after bending his putter in frustration early on.
Thomas eventually took the match 2 up.
“I was walking off the sixth green and I was a little unhappy about the way I was feeling, a little under the weather,” List said.
“I thought it was a brush area and I just kind of swiped my putter and it turned out to be a wall. Stupid on my part.”
Jordan Spieth beat South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel 2&1, Jason Day triumphed against James Hahn 4&2, while Masters champion Sergio Garcia edged rising Indian star Shubhankar Sharma 1 up.
Jonathan Caldwell goes from working at Nevada Bob’s to winning on European Tour
The Northern Irishman won the inaugural Scandinavian Mixed by a shot.
Glory in Gothenburg as Jonathan Caldwell celebrates first European Tour victory
England’s Alice Hewson finished third in the first event to feature men and women competing on the same course for one prize fund and trophy.
Dave Coupland hoping for more fist pumps after qualifying for US Open
The 35-year-old could have plenty of supporters in the crowd at Torrey Pines.
Rhys Enoch and Alice Hewson in contention in Gothenburg
Hewson could become the first ever female winner on the European Tour.
Tiger Woods misses US Open at Torrey Pines but 2008 memories dominate build-up
Woods is recovering at home from the serious leg injuries suffered in a car crash in Los Angeles in February.
Caroline Hedwall takes one-shot lead at Scandinavian Mixed
The Swede carded two eagles, five birdies and a solitary bogey at Vallda Golf and Country Club.
Highly-rated young British golfer Ben Schmidt signs with White Rose Sports Management
Record-breaking young British golfer Ben Schmidt has chosen White Rose Sports Management to represent as he turns professional.
Phil Mickelson primed for another shot at history at Torrey Pines
The American recently became the oldest winner in major championship history.
Sam Horsfield tied for lead with Christine Wolf at inaugural Scandinavian Mixed
The event is a first on the European Tour as it features 78 men and 78 women competing for one prize fund and one trophy.
The Palmetto Championship: Is Brooks Koepka a poor punt before a Major?
Will the American be distracted ahead of the US Open at Torrey Pines?