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There’s nothing sudden about these golfers’ demises at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play


All in all, Ian Poulter needs Rory McIlroy’s luggage had been already packed.

Nothing private, thoughts you.

The 45-year-old Englishman simply longs for the days when the World Golf Championship occasions had been win or go house.

Just his private choice.

“I prefer the old way. I kind of like the s— or bust attitude, to be honest with you,” Poulter mentioned after, nicely, busting up McIlroy in dominant trend Wednesday by the lopsided 6 and 5 rating. “It gets the adrenaline going, the ticker starts going and quite frankly you’ve just got to be – s— or bust. You got to pony up and hit shots, right? So you got to suck it up and s— or bust.

“I mean, it’s an Englishism.”

And American-ism, too, if you’ll.

WGC- Match Play: Tee times, TV | Photos

Of course, Poulter’s often called the Match Play Ninja, partly due to his eight Ryder Cups and 17 worldwide wins. Oh and partly simply due to his aggressive nature.

“I played against my brother all the time,” he mentioned, “and I hated losing.”

Still does.

Poulter’s useless on along with his blunt opinion as a result of there’s nothing extra thrilling, nothing extra take-your-breath-away than sudden dying.

No mulligans allowed, and that’s unlucky.

The fantastic thing about match play is its full 180 from the regular stroke-play occasions on the tour, however even there the Dustin Johnsons and Justin Thomases of the world aren’t assured to make the minimize, simply more likely to.

However, tv dictates life these days, and the beer and hen wing and insurance coverage sponsors understandably wish to preserve the marquee gamers round for so long as potential.

However, that works at cross-purposes. Shouldn’t it’s solely about the golf and the greatest man or United Kingdom man wins and all? You know, the American manner, as nicely. Wouldn’t that be extra TV-friendly?

“Early in the week, yeah, it would be. Definitely,” third-seeded Jon Rahm mentioned. “And hey, the better players are going to make it to the final. I mean, you need to play good. In this format I guess you can have one bad day and still somehow make it through, right? So I think it defeats the purpose of match play a little bit.”

But it doesn’t precisely damage rankings when 9 double-digit seeds pull off stunners in the basketball affair, and an eleventh seeded Syracuse reaches the Sweet 16.

The pressure in these matches are palpable as they’re nearly tournaments inside a match.

“The interesting thing about this tournament is it feels like the last round every day,” mentioned Patrick Cantlay, a first-day winner. “If you’re comfortable with that feeling, then it’s to your advantage. Fortunately, I feel like I like that feeling. I feel like it brings out the best in me.”

But the suspense is at all times current and might be energy-draining for a match the place the two finalists play seven rounds.

“It’s so weird,” mentioned Cameron Smith, who was 2 down with three holes to play however survived to beat Lanto Griffin 1 up. “We were just saying before, like in the first round of a tournament it’s usually kind of a bit of a cruisy day. You’re still kind of getting your legs for the rest of the week, and to be put in that situation on a Wednesday — it’s not even Thursday yet — is crazy.”

Crazy good, that’s. And it may very well be even crazier.

Besides on this group format the place each golfer is assured three matches the first three days, if a McIlroy or a Justin Thomas has no likelihood of advancing after two days, the place’s their motivation in even enjoying a 3rd day?

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, hits off the fifth tee throughout a primary spherical match at the Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

In the earlier format, this eleventh seed at the Dell would have been out the door when McIlroy was crushed 6 and 5 by Sixtieth-seeded Poulter in the first spherical of group play of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play occasion, which began on an overcast Wednesday in entrance of pandemic-induced, sparse crowds.

McIlroy was hardly the solely casualty, however he can go on to struggle one other day with a second-day match — and a 3rd — in a pod with Smith and Griffin. Justin Thomas, the No. 2 seed, fell to Matt Kuchar 3 and a pair of, No. 7 seed Patrick Reed tied his match with Bubba Watson, and No. 5 seed Bryson DeChambeau misplaced 2-up.

“It’s not exactly like winning a golf tournament each match, but you get some of these feels,” mentioned Jordan Spieth, who beat Matt Fitzpatrick 3 and 1. “I was pretty calm out there and then, all of a sudden — I hit a really good putt on 15 to win the match and it just went right by the hole, and then I lost 16, all of a sudden I’m walking up there feeling some significant nerves going to 17. That wouldn’t happen in a stroke play Thursday round.”

Rahm prevented the upset bug. He beat 56th seed Sebastian Munoz 1 as much as begin out robust, however he’s a fan of the outdated methods too.

“I like the sudden death format,” he mentioned. “We played so many events in Europe like that, that if it wasn’t sudden death, you had 36-hole qualifying rounds to get to 64. So I do like the sudden death. I understand it’s a little bit harder for the sponsors and TV because your best guys might be gone, but I think it’s more thrilling. You’re competing for your life every single event. Well, not your life, but it’s a little different.”

It’s completely totally different, however that’s what makes the suspense so rattling compelling.

McIlroy was his personal worst enemy Wednesday. He three-putted from 18 toes on the fourth gap, and he went swimming on the fifth, launching a shot right into a neighbor’s yard pool. Not his A sport.

McIlroy has been struggling of late and would possibly wish to withdraw to work on his sport with new swing coach Pete Cowen after lacking the minimize at TPC Sawgrass two years after he received that occasion. He declined to speak to the media after getting eradicated on the thirteenth inexperienced.

Poulter obtained off to an important begin with a birdie on the opening gap and, after McIlroy minimize his result in one, rattled off 5 consecutive holes to take the straightforward win.

Poulter, nevertheless, might not be the crowd favourite. Longhorn Nation remembers his win at the Houston Open the place his lengthy playoff putt saved Texas ex Beau Hossler out of the winner’s circle.

But with the pool format that’s been in place for all the Dell tourneys at Austin Country Club, McIlroy’s not out of the operating and will nonetheless qualify for the weekend knockout stage. He received this occasion again in 2015 earlier than it moved to west Austin.

“I wanted to keep the foot down because it’s too easy to let him get back in the game like he did and then he takes control of the match,” Poulter mentioned.

That, in fact, didn’t occur. Alas, for McIlroy and 31 others who dropped their first match, there’s at all times Thursday.

Related

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Thursday matches, tee times, how to watch

Former Longhorns Jordan Spieth, Dylan Frittelli, Scottie Scheffler shine at Dell Match Play

Struggling Rory McIlroy hit an errant tee shot into someone’s pool during Match Play

Watch: Rory McIlroy drubbed by Ian Poulter at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

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