Rory McIlroy’s putter change got most of the attention earlier this week, but he also changed shafts on his driver. The move seemingly paid off with a near walk-off win on the par-4 18th on Thursday. Here is our WGC Match Play Round 2 Recap and Round 3 preview.
Tied with Denny McCarthy going into the final hole, McIlroy drove the green on the 375-yard hole and eagled to win 2-up.
“I drove the ball great those last few holes and hit it really well. Yeah, it was great to see. Similar to yesterday too. I felt like I drove the ball really well yesterday,” said McIlroy, who is 2-0-0 this week at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after coming back from 3-down after six holes to win his round 2 match.
Jon Rahm, after losing to Rickie Fowler on day 1, had a better day on Thursday. He handled Keith Mitchell 4-and-3 to improve to 1-1-0. Fowler, meanwhile, lost to Billy Horschel. If Horschel beats Rahm on Friday, he advances. If Rahm wins, he’s guaranteed no worse than a playoff against Fowler if he were to defeat Mitchell.
Elsewhere, rookie Taylor Montgomery defeated Jordan Spieth to take control of his group. Two top-10 seeds—Viktor Hovland and Will Zalatoris—have been eliminated.
Scottie Scheffler (+450), the defending champion here at Austin Country Club, caught a break when Tom Kim lost to Davis Riley on Thursday. Now, he’s guaranteed no worse than a playoff if the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world loses to Kim. A win or a tie against the 21-year-old will move him into the round of 16. Rory McIlroy (+900) is in a similar position, but a loss to Keegan Bradley will knock out the Northern Irishman.
Max Homa, Xander Schauffele (both +1100), Tony Finau (+1200), and Sam Burns (+2000) are in the same situation Scheffler is in and are favored to advance.
Jason Day (+1800) defeated Victor Perez in round 2 to improve to 2-0-0. He faces Collin Morikawa (+2200) in one of Friday’s most-anticipated matches. After tying with Adam Svensson, the scenarios here are simple: A Day win or tie means he advances, and Morikawa will win the group if he defeats Day.
Matt Kuchar (+6600) was unable to tie Tiger Woods’ record of 36 individual match wins in this event after tying with Chris Kirk on Thursday, but our longshot pick can still advance if he beats Si Woo Kim on Friday. Kim, however, is playing very well and had little trouble with Hovland, winning 4-and-3.
Scheffler and McIlroy are playing well, and the odds reflect that. The two could meet in the final, which would be epic. If Day defeats Morikawa, expect his winning odds to increase greatly. If you take him now, however, he would need to win on Friday. There are surer bets to move on, such as Homa, Finau and Cantlay. We’ll still back Kuchar to the end with the great value in +6600 odds.
Here are the latest odds from JazzSports going into day three of the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
|GOLFERS||ODDS TO WIN 2023 DELL TECHNOLOGIES MATCH PLAY|
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