Tiger Woods Prevails on Day One of WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

AUSTIN, TX — Tiger Woods made his first appearance in the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play event since 2013, but the three-time champion was able to battle the windy conditions at Austin Country Club to prevail in his first match of pool play, 3 & 1 over 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson champion Aaron Wise.

“Considering neither one of us really played that great today,” Woods said. “It was a pretty emotional match because we were up and down, up and down. There weren’t a lot of holes halved. And I was just kind of hanging in there. I was up early and then all of a sudden I’m down. And it looked like I was going to go 2-down and all of a sudden it’s all square. Then I am flipping it up, then I throw away one with a three-putt. It was one of those matches where we weren’t playing our best.”

This event is Woods’ first PGA Tour appearance in Texas since the 2005 Byron Nelson, then played at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas. Woods missed the cut that year, ending his streak of 142 consecutive made cuts.

One thing that was working for the 14-time major champion on Wednesday was the flat stick.

“I putted well today, hit a lot of good putts,” Woods said on GOLFTV following his round. “Had a misstep on 14, but overall I felt like I was very balanced, especially with the wind coming up and down and moving us around a little bit.”

Wise was disappointed in the loss, but not in the chance to take on the 80-time PGA Tour winner in the match play format.

“It was pretty cool to get in his group today, be able to play him, especially in match play, where it’s me against him. It was a fun experience,” Wise said. “I really respect what he’s done in the game, and it was pretty cool to be able to watch him compete today and be alongside of him.”

The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is a unique format where a triple bogey can win a hole and with the event in its fifth year of its pool system, each player is guaranteed at least three days of golf. Once a player advances through his pod, it is the traditional single elimination format with the opportunity to have two matches on Saturday and Sunday if you keep winning.

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Next up for Woods is Brandt Snedeker on Thursday. Snedeker halved his match on Wednesday with Patrick Cantlay.

Notables to win their matches on Wednesday include Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm.

Favorites who lost on the first day include two-time Dell Match Play champion Jason Day,defending champion Bubba Watson,  Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson and Hideki Matsuyama.

Jordan Spieth came back to halve his match with Billy Horschel and Brooks Koepka halved his match with Tom Lewis.

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.

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