UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
Rory Mcilroy and Scottie Scheffler remain on course for a blockbuster final at the 2023 WGC-Dell Match Play after both coming through their first two knockout round matches on Saturday. On a day that saw 16 cut down to 4, the two biggest names in the competition manage to navigate their way through to the final day in Texas.
Scheffler had to come from behind on the back nine in both the last 16 and quarter-finals on Saturday. In his first match of the day against JT Poston, the world number one found himself two points down with four holes to play but produced three birdies on 15, 16, and 17 while his opponent blew up.
In his quarter-final match with Jason Day, he once again found himself in a precarious position. After six holes, the Australian was flying and Scheffler found himself three shots behind after just six holes. However, after that point, he went up a gear and Day failed to win another hole with the American eventually winning with a hole to spare.
Mcilroy overcomes Schauffele in a thriller
In the match of the day, third seed Rory Mcilroy beat sixth seed Xander Schauffele in the quarter-finals. The match went all the way to the final putt on the 18th hole after Mcilroy refused to let his American opponent get away from him in the early running.
Schauffele led the match for nine of the first 12 holes but the pair matched each other from 12-17 with some excellent golf on display from both men. The 17th presented Schauffele with a great chance to take the lead going into the final hole when his tee shot to the par three left him a straight putt down the slope. Mcilroy, on the other hand, missed the green and did well to get up and down.
Unfortunately for Schauffele, his putt rolled past the left side of the cup and the pair headed to the 18th neck and neck. Both men hit their tee shots into the rough on the left-hand side but Miclroy’s distance carried him past a tree that Schauffele found himself behind.
This time it was Mcilroy who had a decent look for birdie while his opponent was off the green and the Northern Irishman stepped up to the plate to sink his 12-footer for the win. It was the first time he had managed to get his nose in front over the course of the 18 holes.
McIlroy progresses to the semi-finals after a 1UP victory vs Schauffele. #DellMatchPlay pic.twitter.com/KNsrE8RH8c
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) March 25, 2023
Speaking afterwards, Mcilroy said:
“Yeah, I feel great. If someone told me I was going to be a combined 16 under par for the two rounds, there’s no way I would’ve thought I played the 18th twice today but it just shows the calibre that you need to play at out here to try to beat these guys.
I got off to a little bit of a slower start this afternoon compared to this morning but was able to sort of battle and claw my way back and I held some great putts down the stretch to finally get the win.”
WGC-Dell Semi-final matches
The two semi-final matches that will take place this afternoon are:
- Scottie Scheffler vs Sam Burns
- Rory Mcilroy vs Cameron Young
The two winners will then face each other this evening in the final in what could be must-see sporting action should Mcilroy and Scheffler progress.