Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy qualified in extremis for the quarter-finals of the WGC – Match Play which begin this evening. MacKenzie Hughes creates the big surprise of the eighth against Max Homa. McIlroy – Schauffele will be the poster of the evening for a place in the last four on Sunday.
Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, results
The only European still in the running, Rory McIlroy perfectly negotiated his round of 16 against a very eye-catching Lucas Herbert. The Aussie trailed for eighteen holes, but he was never dropped.
And it was a gala McIlroy (-9 in stroke play without any bogey!) who qualified for the quarter-finals (2 up). The 2015 winner will now have to get rid of the American Xander Schauffele, seeded number 6. The Californian made short work of J.J.
Spaun by shaking hands with his opponent at 16 (3 & 2). It will therefore be a Ryder Cup-like meeting between two pillars of the American and European teams. If Rory McIlroy needed to pull out all the stops to get rid of Lucas Herbert, Scottie Scheffler came very close to elimination against the modest J.T.
Poston (52nd in the world). The defending champion was even trailing 1 down at the start of the 17th, before slamming a birdie on the 17th to equalize and take advantage of his compatriot's bogey on the 18th to win by the smallest of margins (1 up).
It is the Australian Jason Day who now stands on the road to world number one. The double winner of the event beat Matt Kuchar who remains at 36 career victories in this tournament to share the record with Tiger Woods… for eternity, since this is the last edition of this tournament.
We will also remember the surprise eliminations of the Americans Max Homa and Patrick Cantlay who left Sam Burns and Mackenzie Hughes to face each other in an unexpected quarter-final, opening a royal road to Scheffler towards the final!
Kurt Kitayama and Cameron Young (both clear winners this afternoon) make up the last quarter-final of the day, the winner of which will face Rory McIlroy or Xander Schauffele on Sunday morning.
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Rory McIlroy on Ryder Cup expectations
Ludvig Aberg on impressions after playing with Rory McIlroy
Ludvig Aberg's wedge impressed Rory McIlroy
Ludvig Aberg on the match with Rory McIlroy and nervousness before the Ryder Cup
Rory McIlroy played with Ludvig Aberg: He exceeded my expectations