WGC Match Play: Bob MacIntyre battles top-ranked Dustin Johnson to a draw

WGC Match Play: Bob MacIntyre battles top-ranked Dustin Johnson to a draw

MacIntyre, who trailed for a lot of the entrance 9 at Austin Nation Membership and led for a lot of the again 9, walked away with a mix of satisfaction and disappointment.

WGC Match Play: Bob MacIntyre battles top-ranked Dustin Johnson to a draw

Dustin Johnson (L) and Robert MacIntyre (R) performed out a tie in the course of the second spherical at WGC Match Play. AP

Austin, Texas: Bob MacIntyre grew up enjoying the rough-and-tumble Scottish sport of shinty, and he had greater than sufficient battle to offer Dustin Johnson all he might deal with Thursday within the Dell Applied sciences Match Play.

Johnson needed to rally late with an eagle and a clutch birdie to ship the match to the ultimate gap, the place each gamers missed birdie probabilities and settled for a tie.

Neither the world’s No. 1 participant nor the 24-year-old from the tiny city of Oban had been positive what to make of it.

“It was a troublesome match,” Johnson stated. “Ended up making a very good halve, and undoubtedly happy with it.”

MacIntyre, who trailed for a lot of the entrance 9 at Austin Nation Membership and led for a lot of the again 9, walked away with a mix of satisfaction and disappointment.

Finally, each remained in place to advance out of their group to the weekend knockout stage.

“Clearly, I used to be dying to win that match,” MacIntyre stated. “I used to be in such an awesome place to do it. However he threw every thing at me, and I might be happy with ending there all sq.. Inside I am a little bit dissatisfied to not win. However as soon as we stroll away from right here and drive again to the home, it will be, ‘You understand what? I can compete with these finest guys on the planet.”

A number of the finest within the planet had been eradicated on the second day of round-robin group play.

Justin Thomas, the No. 2 seed, fell behind huge on the entrance 9 for the second straight day and could not catch up. Thomas made a robust rally in opposition to defending champion Kevin Kisner earlier than dropping on the seventeenth gap.

Tyrrell Hatton delivered extra highlights — not a lot with a shot, however the suave tossing of a membership and the sarcastic clapping of his palms — in dropping to Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard, whose American house is in Austin, gained his second match and thus eradicated Hatton, the No. 8 seed.

Different prime seeds within the 16 teams who haven’t any probability to maneuver on had been PGA champion Collin Morikawa (4), Tony Finau (12) and Viktor Hovland of Norway (13). In all, 18 gamers had matches Friday with nothing on the road.

Friday is the ultimate day for teams, and Kisner’s victory arrange a win-or-go-home match in opposition to Kuchar, a previous Match Play champion who beat Thomas on the primary day and outlasted Louis Oosthuizen on Thursday.

Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer additionally sq. off Friday after each gained went to 2-0 of their group. Rahm had a more durable time than he imagined with British Open champion Shane Lowry, who was 3 down with three holes to play when the Irishman went birdie-birdie to ship it to the 18th, after which confirmed off these nice palms with a pitch from beneath a tree to 12 ft.

He missed the birdie putt and Rahm, who would have had a putt from the identical vary, smile a sigh of reduction.

“He made a heck of a run on the finish, man,” Rahm stated.

It is exhausting to discover a true David vs. Goliath at this degree of golf, not with the highest 64 gamers obtainable from the world rating.

MacIntyre, attempting to nail down a spot in his first Masters, labored his approach as much as No. 44 along with his first victory on the European Tour final fall and a detailed name in Dubai a number of months later.

He briefly stepped away from golf to return to shinty, a sport that resembles a mixture of discipline hockey and rugby that MacIntyre typically says is “in my blood,” to not point out no matter blood he spills on the pitch.

He knew what he confronted in opposition to Johnson and was up for it.

MacIntyre birdied the ninth, made a 25-foot birdie on the tenth to take his first lead, after which Johnson put his tee shot within the water on the eleventh. MacIntyre returned to a 2-up lead when Johnson made bogey on the 14th, and he the Scot appeared poised to tug of a stunner.

However the Scot left himself in a troublesome spot on the par-5 sixteenth and will solely handle par. Johnson was 10 ft away for eagle, and MacIntyre nonetheless had him putt it (Johnson made it). The turning level got here on the par-3 seventeenth, a most harmful par 3 for gamers hitting not more than wedge. Johnson poured in an 18-footer to degree the match.

“He holed putts when he needed to gap putts,” MacIntyre stated. “He does that to win quite a few majors.”

In different matches:

Patrick Cantlay performed one other very good spherical and nonetheless needed to go the gap, this time making seven birdies in a 1-up victory over Carlos Ortiz. Cantlay is the equal of 15-under par by way of 36 holes.

Dylan Frittelli, the South African who hit the successful shot for Texas when the Longhorns gained the NCAA title in 2012, has required solely 29 holes to win each his matches.

Ian Poulter had a 3-up lead with three to play when he was pressured to the 18th gap by Cameron Smith, who stuffed his strategy into 6 ft. Irrespective of. Poulter delivered a 15-foot birdie putt to win a second straight match. Rory McIlroy gained simply, however now wants Poulter to lose Friday to have any probability of advancing.

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