Dustin Johnson loses his second match against Adam Hadwin at WGC Dell Match Play
Last year’s winner Dustin Johnson and runner-up Jon Rahm both are ousted after a continuous second-day defeat at the WGC Dell Match Play played at the Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas.
Johnson followed his opening round loss to Bernd Weisberger with a 4&3 defeat to Canadian Adam Hadwin, meaning the defending champion is out of the race and cannot progress from Group 1.
Sergio driving the 361 yard final hole… 👀
Posted by European Tour on Thursday, March 22, 2018
Johnson is scheduled to play against Kevin Kisner on Friday, which has no added value for him in changing his fate. While Rahm lost to Chez Reavie, with a game to spare.
Rory McIlroy lost his opening game to Peter Uihlein by 2&1 despite posting five straight birdies. McIlroy had a different game plan for Thursday against Jhonattan Vegas and won it by 2&1 in Group 6 to ensure that he still has a chance of reaching the knockout stages, providing he defeats Brian Harman in the final round-robin fixture.
Jordan Spieth defeated Haotong Li 4&2 to set up a dual against his Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Reed, who saw off Charl Schwartzel by 1-Up with a final hole birdie.
Phil Mickelson survived his match play against Satoshi Kodaira after posting birdies on two of his last three holes. Mickelson trailed for good 16 holes and was down four after seven but his final hole birdie moved him up with a win by 1-Up.
Ian Poulter won by 2&1 over Daniel Berger to move into top spot in Group 9, needing him at least a quarter-final finish to have a chance of securing a late invite to the Masters.
“It’s s a great start,” Poulter said. “You need to do that in this format. It’s so easy to get complacent. My adrenaline is going right now. It’s nice to play under that pressure.”
Tommy Fleetwood managed to post the biggest win of the tournament of 7&6 against Kevin Chappell after a defeat on Wednesday by Ian Poulter.
Paul Casey defeated Kyle Stanley by 4&2 to lead Group 10.
Shubhankar Sharma loses his second match too
Indian Shubhankar Sharma needed a miracle to stay in the hunt but lost to Xander Schauffele by 3&1 after losing to 2017 Masters Champion Sergio Garcia in a stunning last hole finish for a 1-Down loss.
Schauffele made his intentions clear from the very first hole where he made a birdie and Sharma made a double-bogey, helping Schauffele in an early lead.
Sharma was quick to get back with two back to back birdies on fourth and fifth to make it all-square after losing his third hole too. Schauffele made another advancement with a birdie on the par-5 sixth and a par on par-4 eighth where Sharma posted another bogey, sending his opponent to 2-Up but Sharma again gained a point on par-4 ninth with a birdie.
Back nine saw less of a fight from Sharma where he posted a bogey on 10th and Schauffele fired a birdie, taking his lead to 2-Up, and another birdie on 13th saw him go up to 3-Up until the par-5 16th where Sharma went for a birdie and getting Schauffele to 2-Up, but not for long as on par-3 17th Sharma went for a bogey and Schauffele was safe with par at 3-Up.
Sharma is scheduled to play against Dylan Frittelli on Friday.