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AUSTIN, Texas – It can be an odd format but this was strange even by match-play standards.
Matt Kuchar was clinging to a 1-up lead over Louis Oosthuizen late Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when his tee shot at the par-3 11th hole caught a gust of wind and dropped into a water hazard. Oosthuizen’s tee shot suffered a similar fate and neither player hit particularly impressive recovery shots from the drop area.
By the time the duo was finished with the 159-yard hole, they’d both signed for double-bogey 5s.
“We halved the 11th with double bogeys. Both put it in the water, I had to get up-and-down for double bogey. It’s a crazy game that way,” Kuchar said. “It has been a very long time [since he halved a hole with a double]. That’s the unique thing about this game and certainly about match play.”
Kuchar also had a double bogey at No. 8 and finished the round at 1 over par.
“There was certainly a whole lot of ebb and flow,” Kuchar said. “I don’t think either Louis or I felt totally comfortable out there today. I think conditions were hard. Each of us had some struggles we were battling with.”
Kuchar held on to win the match, 1 up, and will play Kevin Kisner on Day 3 to decided who from their group advances to the weekend. Both players are undefeated in their pod. Kisner defeated Kuchar in the 2019 finals.