AUSTIN, TX — Tiger Woods holed out a wedge from the middle of the 13th fairway for an eagle en route to defeating Patrick Cantlay on Friday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.
The vaunted ‘Tiger Roars’ echoed throughout the Pete Dye layout as Woods rallied from two down on the front nine to win 4-and-2.
Coupled with 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson champion Aaron Wise soundly beating Brandt Snedeker 6-and 4, Woods advanced from Group 13 and will take on Rory McIlroy in the Round of 16 on Saturday morning. This will be the first time that the two golf titans have faced each other in a match play format.
“We’ve played tournaments together, battled each other down the stretch of events, but never in a match play situation, so this will be fun,” Woods said. “I’m thankful for the format, because I would be going home yesterday.”
McIlroy defeated Matthew Fitzpatrick 4-and-2 to finish the pool play undefeated in advancing to the weekend to take on the 14-time major champion.
McIlry was paired with Woods last year at the TOUR Championship where Woods captured his 80th PGA Tour victory.
“It’s exciting,” McIlroy said. “It’s exciting for the tournament, and it’s going to be exciting for us. I feel good about my game. I’ve played well all year. I’ve continued to do that this week. It’s definitely going to be one of those ones where I need to go out there and stick to my game plan, and not really look at what he does until I maybe have to towards the end.”
As for the remainder of the tournament, there are many big names getting the weekend off including Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Xander Schauffele, Ian Poulter, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed and defending champion Bubba Watson.
The World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play runs through Sunday at Austin Country Club. Coverage is on NBC, Golf Channel and PGA Tour LIVE.