March 27, 2019

It Wasn’t Their Best Golf, But Tiger Beats Aaron Wise in Match Play

Steve DiMeglio, author for Golfweek

AUSTIN, Texas – The only score that mattered was the final score.

That was the exclamation point Tiger Woods made in describing his opening-round meeting with Aaron Wise on Wednesday in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. While Woods was playing the event for the first time since 2013, he hadn’t forgotten that the essence of match play is to beat your opponent by any means necessary, be it with excellent play or otherwise.

“I broke 80,” Woods said with a big smile after defeating Wise, 3 and 1, in and up-and-down affair over the elevation-fueled Austin Country Club. Both players admitted they’ve had better days on the golf course, but each hole remained a tournament on its own and tension accompanied the two through 17 holes.

“It wasn’t exactly the best of golf out there from both of us,” said Woods, a three-time winner of this event who captured his record 34th match victory. “We gave a few holes away with bogeys and three-putts, and we won a few holes with some good birdies. It was an emotional round because there weren’t a lot of halved holes.

“It’s one of those weird matches.”

Among the other  matches, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson won three holes on the back nine to close out Chez Reavie, 4 and 3. World No. 3 Brooks Koepka, who won last year’s U.S. Open and PGA Championship, tied Tom Lewis. World No. 4 Rory McIlroy, who won The Players in his last start, rolled to a 5-and-4 win against Luke List.

World No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau defeated Russell Knox, 3 and 1. World No. 7 and reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari, who won three weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, beat Satoshi Kodaira, 5 and 4. Paul Casey, who won last week’s Valspar Championship, made quick work of Abraham Ancer in a 5-and-3 victory…


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