Game coming together nicely for McIlroy as Lowry and Power exit

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroyn (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy became the first player to win all three group games at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play (2015, 2019, 2023) since the group format began in 2015 as he eased to a 3&2 win over Keegan Bradley in Texas.

McIlroy’s reward is a last-16 tie with Australian Lucas Herbert who also boasts a 100% record this week.

Both players are enjoying some positive form after missing the cut at the PLAYERS Championship with Herbert carding rounds of 82 and 85 at Sawgrass.


“Yeah, both of us did. Look, TPC is one of those golf courses, if you’re just a little off, it feels like it magnifies the misses that you have there. Obviously we both missed the cut. Lucas shot a couple of high numbers,” explained McIlroy.

“As you see this week, reading into that too much, especially around that golf course, it just isn’t — I don’t think it’s — the performances around TPC, except for, of course, Scottie, who’s playing the best golf in the world right now — you can take that golf course with a pinch of salt because it’s such a different golf course than so many others that we play.”

McIlroy is purring ahead of the Masters and his decision to tee it up in the Match Play rather than the Valero Texas Open looks a stroke of genius with the Holywood native getting better by each match, going bogey-free in his last two matches.

“It’s getting there. It’s very solid. I didn’t make a bogey the last couple of days. I think I only made one in the last three.

“My game is good. It’s probably as good as it’s felt all year, which is nice going into obviously the next couple of weeks.”

While McIlroy has grabbed the headlines with his bamboozling driving, match three with Bradley saw a sizeable improvement with the putter.

“Yeah, short game, everything is sort of on point. I missed a couple of short ones out there later on in the day, but I was really pleased with how I putted the start of the match. I held some nice putts.

“That’s the only thing, I would say, is just sort of tidying up there and trying to feel a little more solid with the putting. The rest of the game feels in really good shape.”

Seamus Power can perhaps count himself a touch unlucky having been narrowly beaten by Adam Scott and Sam Burns either side of a tight win over Adam Hadwin as he bowed out at the group stage.

A quarter-finalist last year, Power needed to beat Burns to progress while the American needed just a half point. Scott pipped Power on 18 on Wednesday with a 27-footer and Burns rolled in a lengthy effort on 17 to go 1UP with 1 to play which ran Power’s race.

The Waterford native eventually lost by two holes.

Shane Lowry rounded off a dismal week on a high with a 2&1 win over Jordan Spieth which also sent him packing.

Lowry made the turn at 5UP but he survived a back nine rally from Spieth to win 2&1.

Scoring HERE

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