McIlroy’s Clutch Drive Highlights WGC Match Play Round 2

McIlroy’s Clutch Drive Highlights WGC Match Play Round 2

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.

WGC Match Play Round 2 Recap

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. 

PGA Tour Odds

Scheffler Remains the Favorite After Kim Loses in Round 2

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. 

2023 WGC Match Play Odds

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.

Scottie Scheffler+450
Rory McIlroy+900
Xander Schauffele+1000
Max Homa+1100
Tony Finau+1100
Cameron Young+1200
Jon Rahm+1200
Patrick Cantlay+1200
Jason Day+1800
Sam Burns+2000
Collin Morikawa+2200
Taylor Montgomery+2500

Check out the WGC Match Play Final Round Preview

Join us to receive our daily Golf content and make sure to stay tuned for, golf news, and the PGA Tour schedule.

Keep up with us for the latest Golf Stories & LIV Golf Tour Contest previews, weekly Golf Tournaments Highlights, and the Official World Golf Ranking updates.

Follow us on Social Media for the latest in golf odds and more 2023 WGC Match Play updates!