Round 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play wrapped up today, with Dylan Frittelli being the only ex-Longhorn to win his match.
The 2012 National Champion sank a 21-foot putt for eagle on the 16th hole to close out Jason Kokrak, improving to 2-0 in the group and can advance to the Round of 16 with a win or tie tomorrow against Will Zalatoris.
“I was really edgy on the front nine,” Frittelli said after his round. “I’m not sure what it was, just started the round in maybe a bad mental space, a little irritated and edgy and couldn’t really focus.”
Frittelli lost an early lead and found himself making the turn one down to Kokrak.
“I just had a little talk to myself on the golf cart heading over to the 10th tee and said, just relax, try and get in that space that I was in yesterday.”
Frittelli then birdied the next three holes to take a 2-up lead and closed the door with his eagle putt on the 16th hole.
“I was just happy I didn’t have to play 17 and 18. Those two holes are extremely tricky with a few nerves so I was glad to get it done earlier.”
If Frittelli loses his match tomorrow, the door would be open for Kokrak to at least force a playoff if he’s able to win his match against Tony Finau. Win or tie tomorrow and Frittelli can advance to the Round of 16 for the first time in his career.
“I feel like no matter who it is as my opposition I can beat those guys,” Frittelli said. “Doesn’t matter if you put No. 1 in the world or No. 63 in the world, I definitely back myself back in my own territory and somewhat of my home course.”
Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth each led their matches 2-up with two holes left to play but faltered down the stretch to tie.
“It was a good, tough match until the end,” Wolff said post-round about his match against Spieth. “I gave him a couple holes, he gave me a couple holes, and definitely have couple things to work on, but coming down the stretch I felt like...I did what I had to do.”
Spieth led by as much as two on the front nine but Wolff was able to win holes 7 and 9 to even things up at the turn. However, Wolff dumped his tee-shots on 11 and 11 in the water and found himself down two for the majority of the back nine. Then the momentum of the match shifted in favor of Wolff.
Spieth’s tee shot on the par-3 17th hole spun off the green, leaving an impossible up-and-down. He would end up conceding the hole to Wolff after going from bunker-to-bunker on his 2nd and 3rd shots.
With Wolff in the middle of the fairway and only 43 yards from the pin, Spieth’s tee-shot on the 18th hole would end up hitting the foot of a PGA Tour Live cameraman. Instead of catching the downslope and leaving him with a short approach shot, Spieth was 111 yards out and would wind up hitting into the greenside bunker.
Wolff stuck his pitch shot to 6-feet and was conceded the hole after Spieth missed a 14-footer to save par.
“I think he played with that lead pretty solid until I think 17,” Wolff said. “17 was kind of the turning point when he gave me that hole.”
Spieth and Wolff are now tied for the lead in group 15 with 1.5 points, while Matthew Fitzpatrick is behind them with 1 point. Spieth can advance to the Round of 16 with a victory against Corey Connors and a Wolff loss or tie to Fitzpatrick. If both Spieth and Wolff tie or win their match, they would play a sudden-death playoff match to decide who advances.
Matthew Fitzpatrick could also advance if he defeats Wolff and Spieth loses his match against Connors. Confused yet?
Scottie Scheffler, who won his first match yesterday against Jason Day, now needs to defeat Xander Schauffele tomorrow after drawing with Andy Sullivan.
Scheffler and Sullivan’s match was back-and-forth, with neither golfer taking a lead larger than one until Scheffler’s birdie on the 16th hole. Sullivan responded with a birdie of his own, draining a 12-footer to extend the match.
With Sullivan on the green, Scheffler’s approach shot landed on the false front of the green and rolled back into the fairway some 35 yards away.
With Sullivan missing his birdie opportunity, the door was open for Scheffler to win the match but his par putt missed low.
Scheffler faces off against Schauffele tomorrow, with the winner advancing to the Round of 16. However, if both tie and Sullivan wins his match against Jason Day, then there would be a sudden-death playoff.
Tee-times have not yet been released for Round 3 but play is expected to start at 9:20 a.m.