WGC Match Play: Spieth, Rahm dumped out as McIlroy re-lives Medinah memories

Jordan Spieth was one of the big names to crash out of the WGC Match Play, as Scottie Scheffler cruised into the Round of 16.

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Fri, 24 Mar 2023
WGC Match Play: Spieth, Rahm dumped out as McIlroy re-lives Medinah memories

Jordan Spieth crashed out of the WGC Match Play after defeat by former champion golfer of the year Shane Lowry

Spieth needed to win his final group game to advance to the final 16 players at Austin Country Club. 

Lowry - who was already eliminated which will sound the alarm for Ryder Cup Europe captain Luke Donald - raced into a 5UP lead against the three-time major champion at the turn. 

Spieth won three holes on the bounce to make it interesting but in the end lost 2&1 to Lowry. 

Elsewhere, World No.1 Scottie Scheffler kept alive his hopes of retaining his WGC Match Play title. 

Scheffler, who defeated Kevin Kisner in last year's final, saw off the bright young talent Tom Kim to keep a perfect 3-0-0 record this week. 

Rory McIlroy is through to the final 16 players after seeing off American Keegan Bradley 3&2. 

It was more than a decado ago the pair memorably faced each other in the Sunday Singles of the 2012 Ryder Cup.. 

McIlroy almost missed his tee time after a mix-up. It was there he met his now wife Erica Stoll

After arriving with just minutes to spare, McIlroy won 2&1 as Jose Maria Olazabal's men staged the miracle comeback at Medinah.

There was little drama here, as McIlroy finally salvaged a return to form with his driver. 

McIlroy made some equipment changes before this week ahead of the 2023 Masters. He apparently has already torn apart Augusta National in his preparation, taking only 19 putts in one round. 

He told the media:

"I think as every day goes by, I was saying to Harry [Diamond, his caddie} out there, the more and more confidence I'm getting with it, which is great. It's nice to stand up on a tee box and have that freedom knowing that the club's going to do what it's supposed to do and the feel of the swing is matching the shape of the ball flight."

McIlroy hit a simply preposterous drive as he saw off Denny McCarthy on Thursday. 

Asked about that, McIlroy said there was 'a bit of hyperbole', adding:

"The drive on 18 was great and the length and the accuracy and whatever, it was a good shot, but there was a few more shots out there yesterday that pleased me more than that tee shot.
That tee shot's got all the headlines and the attention, but there's other parts of the game that I'm a lot more pleased with and happy with that's a little more translatable as the year goes on."

Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler were two other big names to get knocked out. Fowler needed a quarterfinal finish to have a good shot of being inside the top-50 in the OWGR to qualify for 2023 Masters. 

Fowler's match against Keith Mitchell ended up being a dead rubber after American Billy Horschel defeated the aforementioned Rahm 5&4, who also crashed out. 

Rahm will be at Augusta but Fowler will need to win next week's Valero Texas Open now to have chance of slipping on that green jacket.

Day three results

  • K.H. Lee vs. Nick Taylor 3&2
  • Adam Svensson vs. Victor Perez 5&4
  • Viktor Hovland vs. Chris Kirk 4&3
  • Denny McCarthy vs Scott Stallings 1UP
  • Jordan Spieth vs. Shane Lowry 2&1
  • Taylor Montgomery vs. Mackenzie Hughes 6&4
  • Max Homa vs. Hideki Matsuyama - Matsuyama WD
  • Kevin Kisner vs. Justin Suh - 2UP
  • Sam Burns vs. Seamus Power 2UP
  • Adam Scott vs. Adam Hadwin 3&2
  • Patrick Cantlay vs. Brian Harman 2&1
  • Collin Morikawa vs. Jason Day 4&3
  • Si Woo Kim vs. Matt Kuchar 7&6
  • Sungjae Im vs. Tommy Fleetwood - 4&3
  • J.T. Poston vs. Maverick McNealy - 3&1
  • Scottie Scheffler vs. Tom Kim 3&2
  • Alex Noren vs. Davis Riley - AS
  • Matt Fitzpatrick vs. Sahith Theegala - 2&1
  • Min Woo Lee vs. J.J. Spaun 2&1
  • Xander Schauffele vs. Tom Hoge - 1UP
  • Aaron Wise vs. Cam Davis - 1UP
  • Tyrrell Hatton vs. Russell Henley 3&2
  • Lucas Herbert vs. Ben Griffin 3&1
  • Rory McIlroy vs. Keegan Bradley 3&2
  • Tony Finau vs. Kurt Kitayama 4&3
  • Adrian Meronk vs. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 5&4
  • Will Zalatoris vs. Ryan Fox - Zalatoris WD
  • Harris English vs. Andrew Putnam - 4&3
  • Cameron Young vs. Sepp Straka 5&3
  • Corey Conners vs. Davis Thompson - 3UP
  • Jon Rahm vs. Billy Horschel - 5&4
  • Keith Mitchell vs. Rickie Fowler

Playoff results:

Group 10

T. Finau, K. Kitayama, A. Meronk

Group 12

T. Montgomery, M. Hughes

WGC Match Play Round of 16 Matches

S. Scheffler vs. J.T Poston

M. Kuchar vs. J. Day

P. Cantlay vs. S. Burns

M. Homa vs. M. Hughes

B. Horschel vs. C. Young

A. Putnam vs. K. Kitayama

R. McIlroy vs. L. Herbert

X. Schauffele vs. J.J. Spaun

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