WGC-Dell Match Play 2022 Results: Stars Shine on Day One at Austin Country Club
As is normally the case with WGC-Dell Match Play, Wednesday’s first pool round was filled with absurd moments, great matches and (unlike last year) plenty of successes for the best players in the world. . The most hilarious moment of the day involved a rules officer restructuring the playing field (we’ll go into that in detail below), and Austin Country Club once again proved to be an ideal location for this style of play. ‘event.
Players were forced to make tough decisions and had to hit big shots to close their matches. Let’s take a look at Wednesday’s results and what they mean for the rest of the week as the first WGC event of 2022 takes place at Austin Country Club and we march to the Round of 16 on Saturday morning.
Group 1: Jon Rahm 4 and 2 against Sebastian Munoz
Group 1: Cameron Young takes over Patrick Reed
Group 2: Collin Morikawa 2 and 1 against Robert MacIntyre
Group 2: Sergio Garcia 4 and 3 against Jason Kokrak
Group 3: Viktor Hovland 1 v Sepp Straka
Group 3: Will Zalatoris 5 and 4 against Cameron Tringale
Group 4: Patrick Cantlay equalizes Keith Mitchell
Group 4: Seamus Power 5 and 4 against Sungjae Im
Group 5: Scottie Schefler 2 and 1 against Ian Poulter
Group 5: Matt Fitzpatrick 1 ahead of Tommy Fleetwood
Group 6: Luke List 3 and 2 against Justin Thomas
Group 6: Kevin Kisner 4 and 3 ahead of Marc Leishman
Group 7: Xander Schauffele 3 and 2 against Takumi Kanaya
Group 7: Lucas Herbert 4 and 3 over Tony Finau
Group 8: Dustin Johnson 3 and 2 against Mackenzie Hughes
Group 8: Max Homa 3 and 1 against Matthew Wolff
Group 9: Bryson DeChambeau equalizes Richard Bland
Group 9: Talor Gooch 3 and 2 against Lee Westwood
Group 10: Alex Noren 1 over Louis Oosthuizen
Group 10: Corey Conners def. Paul Casey (conceded)
Group 11: Jordan Spieth 2 vs. Keegan Bradley
Group 11: Adam Scott: 2 ahead of Justin Rose
Group 12: Billy Horschel 3 and 2 against Min Woo Lee
Group 12: Thomas Pieters 2 and 1 over Tom Hoge
Group 13: Tyrrell Hatton: 3 and 2 on Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Group 13: Si Woo Kim 2 ahead of Daniel Berger
Group 14: Maverick McNealy 8 and 6 against Joaquin Niemann
Group 14: Kevin Na 1 beats Russell Henley
Group 15: Abraham Ancer 3 and 1 against Bubba Watson
Group 15: Webb Simpson 1 vs. Brian Harman
Group 16: Brooks Koepka 3 and 2 against Erik van Rooyen
Group 16: Harold Varner 2 and 1 Shane Lowry
Two takeaway meals
1. Good golfers in match play stay hot: Three names on this list stand out. Last year’s finalists Scottie Scheffler and Billy Horschel both played well on Wednesday and started 1-0 in their respective pools. Horschel won it all last year and is a threat in this format, and Scheffler has now beaten Jon Rahm and Ian Poulter twice each in his last six individual matches (including last year’s event and the Ryder Cup 2020 last September where he beat Rahm). The other golfer who shone was Alex Noren, who took his match play record at Austin Country Club to 13-3-0 (!!) with his 1 win against Louis Oosthuizen.
2. The stars are shining: After last year’s event where only one big name (Rahm) qualified for the knockout stages, the best players in the world fared better this time around. Of the event’s top 16 seeds, only Justin Thomas, Joaquin Niemann and Oosthuizen lost. Cinderellas are fun until they make up the entire Round of 16. This path, where clashes featuring Brooks Koepka vs. Rahm and Collin Morikawa vs. Abraham Ancer, is much more exciting to consider.
Blow of the day
I don’t know if it was technically the hit of the day, but Dustin Johnson pumping a 420-yard drive, or 40 yards after the previous long drive on the 16th hole made me laugh.
quote of the day
Maverick McNealy entered the event in the 11th hour and absolutely stuck Niemann 8 and 6. He was pretty excited after his match and then he revealed where his name came from which has absolutely nothing to do with everything he accomplished on Wednesday but I still found quite interesting.
“[My brothers and I are] all named after American cars,” he said. “Ford Maverick, Dodge Dakota, I think Dodge Colt and International Scout.”
pillow fight of the day
The Bryson DeChambeau-Richard Bland game left a lot to be desired. They combined to make nine bogeys, lost nearly two combo shots and it all ended in a tie. It was, however, a spectacular comeback on the PGA Tour for DeChambeau. He pumped his first drive into a University of Texas information tent, landed his second shot and threw three putts 100 feet for bogey. On the second hole, he hit his approach shot and the content king’s comeback was officially over.
Game of the day
It must be Oosthuizen and Noren. Oosthuizen was sixth in the field in strokes gained, had seven birdies and lost. Noren is an absolute beast in this format, and he was again on Wednesday by making four birdies, an eagle and a single bogey. Scheffler-Poulter deserves an honorable mention here for how it ended. Scheffler birdied his last three holes on a 17-foot putt, a 19-foot putt and a 9-foot putt to close out the Englishman.
Upset of the day
It must be Luke List rather than Thomas. JT not only arrived as the No. 6 seed, but he has played one of the best golf in the world over the past few months. He shot 1 over, however, and only birdied one (on his first hole of the day).
Rick Gehman and Kyle Porter react to Wednesday’s action at the Austin Country Club. The guys also look to Thursday’s Round 2 at WGC Match Play. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple podcast and Spotify.
Such a normal sport
On the par-4 fairway 13th hole at the Austin Country Club, Thomas Pieters hit a shot towards the greenside water which came to rest on a sprinkler head. Normally that would mean he gets clearance, but because the penalty area was painted right next to the sprinkler head and the ball technically touched the red line, he wasn’t allowed a clearance, which which displeased him. That would have been pretty absurd on its own, but later that day the exact same thing happened to DeChambeau, and he has been relief given. Shortly after he cleared the sprinkler head, a PGA Tour official came out and spray painted the line. Moving the sidelines in the middle of a game is definitely something that would only happen in this absurd sport!
This sequence of events also led to this incredible tweet from former Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who accidentally left the back of the end zone several feet in a game against the Vikings of Minnesota.