AUSTIN, TX — Tiger Woods produced the highlight of the day and what will likely be the most talked about shot of the event for some time, but it was not enough to defeat Brandt Snedeker in his second match of pod play.
The 80-time PGA Tour winner would fall 2-and-1 to the 2012 FedEx Cup champion.
However, it was not without one of those signature “Tiger Moments” as Woods saw his approach shot on the par-4 10th hole come to rest in some bushes near a hospitality tent. Woods got down on one knee and after turning his club upside down, her struck the ball left handed with the toe of the club and knocked it to within four feet of the cup.
Not surprisingly, Woods would drain the putt for par and halve the hole.
“It was difficult conditions out there today. The wind was pumping and if you went around there with no bogeys, you probably would win your fair share of holes,” Woods said, on pgatour.com. “We both made a couple of mistakes out there, but he made a few less mistakes than I did. All I can do is hopefully get a point tomorrow and see if that’s good enough.”
Snedeker had some fun with the media on his win over Woods after the round.
“”I know he’s beat me a lot, I mean it’s Tiger … I’m probably the most hated man in Texas right now for like the last few holes,” Snedeker said. “I bet you my kids were probably rooting for him late in the round.”
Should Wise defeat Snedeker and Woods beat Cantlay, the 14-time major winner would advance.
Should Snedeker tie against Wise and Woods win, then a sudden death playoff would come between Woods and Snedeker.
If Snedeker beats Wise, he will advance.
Jordan Spieth is alive and well after defeating Kevin Na 3-and-2. Speith will next face the defending champion and he top seed in Group 15, Bubba Watson. Watson will be playing for pride as he was officially eliminated after falling to Billy Horschel 2-and-1.
Group 12 aka the “Group of Death” featuring Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Henrik Stenson will come down the Furyk-Stenson match on Friday as Day and Mickelson were both eliminated on Thursday after dropping to 0-2.
Jon Rahm was 6-down through 10 against Genesis Open champion J.B. Holmes, but rallied by winning four straight holes. However, it proved to be too little, too late and Holmes won 2-and-1 to stay alive in Group 8.
Rory McIlroy defeated Justin Harding 3-and2-2 and takes on Matthew Fitzpatrick on Friday.
“I needed to play well today to beat Justin,” McIlroy said. “He’s a very good player. I can see why he’s done well so far at the start of the year and just happy to get the win.”
Dustin Johnson is the No. 1 player in the world and the 2017 champion of this event, but that didn’t matter to Branden Grace as he drained a 38-foot putt at the 17th to defeat Johnson 1-up.
Justin Thomas stayed alive with a bounce back win over Matt Wallace on Thursday after losing to Lucas Bjerregard on Wednesday. Thomas will take on Keegan Bradley on Friday.
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.