AUSTIN (KXAN) — After three rounds of pool play, the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play field has been whittled down from 64 to 16.
And two of the biggest names in the field will square off Saturday morning in the round of 16 when Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy tee off.
“We’ve played tournaments together and battled each other down the stretch, so it’ll be great,“ Woods said of the pairing.
Woods, who is playing in this event for the first time since 2013, and first time ever in Austin, looked like his old self on Friday. On the back nine, he won four straight holes en route to a 4 & 2 win over Patrick Cantlay.
The highlight came on the 13th when he holed out from 83 yards out.
McIlroy went 3-0 in his group, including a 4 & 2 win over Matthew Fitzpatrick.
“It’s exciting for both of us,“ McIlroy said of his pairing with Woods. “It’s exciting for the tournament. I think I read somewhere Tiger hasn’t played in Texas in … 14 years, so hopefully tomorrow I can go out there and play the way I’ve been playing.“
Part time Austinite Sergio Garcia advanced to the round of 16 despite losing his match to Patrick Reed on Friday.
“I’m playing pretty solid,“ Garcia said. “I think the first two rounds, I played really well. Today, I played well. I didn’t play spectacular, but I played quite nicely. Hit a good amount of nice shots. Unfortunately, I just ran into Patrick that really got going there.“
Former Longhorn Jordan Spieth failed to advance to the weekend after losing to Bubba Watson. Spieth dropped the first four holes, but came storming back on the back nine to pull within one down. He nearly holed out of a sand trap on 18 which would have given him a tie in the match. Instead, he settled for a birdie while Watson tapped in for the same to win the match one up.