2015 champion Rory McIlroy is hoping for a Woodland repeat in the first round of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, hosted this week by the Austin Country Club.
The Northern Irishman has a career singles winning percentage of 67%, a figure only three men in the field can better. It’s a number which has been mostly built on success in this event, constructing a tournament record of 22-8-1, including a win in 2015, second in 2012 and fourth 12 months ago. His injury disrupted season has seen him log finishes of T2-T7-T4 with plenty of par breakers, but many par busters too (less damaging this week). He’ll kick off the week in Group 2, facing Gary Woodland, who he defeated 4&2 in the 2015 final ("I hope that’s still in his mind," McIlroy joked after the draw), Soren Kjeldsen and Emiliano Grillo. It seems a nice draw, but for what it’s worth (anything?), he arrives on a run of three straight singles defeats (last year’s semi-final and consolation match, then being felled by Patrick Reed in the Ryder Cup). Prior to that stretch he had gone 13 matches without defeat (12-0-1). Mar 21 - 6:53 AM