Rory McIlroy drove his ball right into a swimming pool throughout a thumping defeat to Ian Poulter in his opening group sport on the WGC Matchplay in Texas.
The four-time main winner’s wayward drive on Austin’s fifth gap was one in every of quite a few errors in a 6&5 thrashing.
The Northern Irishman, who now has coach Pete Cowen on his workforce, additionally discovered water on 13 with a chip throughout the inexperienced as Poulter sealed the win.
The 31-year-old faces American Lanto Griffin in his subsequent group match.
His last contest shall be in opposition to Australian Cameron Smith, who completed tied second ultimately yr’s Masters.
“There’s a couple of areas of his game which I’m sure he wants to firm up a little bit,” Poulter stated. “He missed a couple of tee shots left. But it’s Rory, it doesn’t take a lot for Rory to spark up pretty quickly.”
The 64 gamers at Austin are break up into 16 teams of 4 with solely the group winners advancing to the knockout phases on the weekend.
Top three seeds win however DeChambeau loses
Lee Westwood has been in good type with two runners-up finishes on the PGA Tour however the Englishman misplaced 4&Three to Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia. The 2017 Masters champion led from the primary gap and went three-up on the 13th then clinched the match on the 15th.
Antoine Rozner surprised fifth seed and US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau with a two-up victory. The 58th seed birdied the ninth to go two-up and though the American fought again by making birdie on the par-five 16th, the Frenchman stayed agency on the final.
DeChambeau, winner at Bay Hill earlier this month, may solely handle par as Rozner – within the matchplay match after successful in Qatar – holed an eight-foot birdie putt.
“It’s the strongest field I’ve ever played in in my life and I played good golf out there,” stated the unheralded Rozner.
World primary Dustin Johnson defeated fellow American Adam Long two-up, whereas second seed Justin Thomas – contemporary from his Players Championship victory – secured a 3&2 win over fellow American Matt Kuchar.
Spanish third seed Jon Rahm acquired the higher of Colombian Sebastian Munoz after a good battle. Rahm needed to gap an eight-foot birdie putt on the final for his one-hole win after the South American sunk his putt from greater than 20 ft.
The all-English contest between Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Wallace resulted in a tie. Eighth seed Hatton was one-up boarding the ultimate tee however couldn’t match the 51st seed’s birdie.
Scotsman Robert MacIntyre impressed in his 2&1 win over American 28th seed Kevin Na.
England’s Andy Sullivan tied his opening match with American eighth seed Xander Schauffele whereas one other Englishman Tommy Fleetwood made a fantastic putt on the final to get pleasure from the identical end result in opposition to South Korea’s Si Woo Kim.
American three-time main winner Jordan Spieth defeated 15th seed Matt Fitzpatrick of England 3&1 and Paul Casey, one other Englishman, was overwhelmed 3&2 by Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes.