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The bracket is set, and the matches are underway. Here’s a look at how the drama unfolded during the second day at Austin Country Club, where all 64 players teed it up in the second of three group-stage matches. Click here for the Day 1 match recaps.
Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Robert MacIntyre (41), tied: The world No. 1 was 2 down through 15 holes, but eagled the par-5 16th and birdied the par-3 17th to draw even. Both men parred the short 18th to enter the final day with 1.5 points each.
Adam Long (61) def. Kevin Na (28), 2 and 1: Na didn’t score a circle on his card until he eagled the par-5 16th. By then, it was too late. Long built a 4-up lead and hung on to keep Na winless this week.
Kevin Kisner (34) def. Justin Thomas (2), 2 and 1: Thomas, the newly minted Players champion, made it interesting late, as he was 4 down with eight to play but trimmed the deficit to just one hole. But he failed to birdie the par-5 16th and then three-putted from 30 feet on the 17th hole to drop to 0-2 and effectively be eliminated from the competition, even if he’ll have to play Friday. Kisner, meanwhile, improved to 2-0 this week in his title defense and 16-5-1 overall in this event.
Matt Kuchar (52) def. Louis Oosthuizen, 1 up: Kuchar improved to 2-0 this week after winning Nos. 13 and 14 and holding off Oosthiuzen. It’s been a stunning turnaround for Kuchar, who had only two top-10s in the past 13 months but saw promising signs after a week’s worth of work with swing coach Chris O’Connell. That set up a winner-take-all Friday match against Kisner – a rematch of the 2019 final, won by Kisner.
Jon Rahm (3) def. Shane Lowry (38), 2 up: Rahm withstood a late Lowry flurry to remain unbeaten. The Open champion birdied Nos. 13, 14, 16 and 17 to pull 1 down, but Rahm clinched it with a concession at the last.
Ryan Palmer (24) def. Sebastian Munoz (56), 2 and 1: Palmer and Rahm teamed to win the Zurich Classic in 2019 and now they will square off to see who advances to the weekend at this event. Both men are 2-0-0 and will battle in Friday’s pool-play finale.
Max Homa (35) def. Collin Morikawa (4), 2 and 1: Despite a scrappy start to the match, Homa made three birdies in a five-hole span on the back nine to knock off his fellow Cal alum. On 17, Morikawa, one of the best iron players on the planet, pulled his tee shot on the short par 3 and spun his ball back off the left edge and into the penalty area, sealing the match.
J.T. Poston (63) def. Billy Horschel (32), 4 and 2: Poston, the second-lowest seeded player in the field, never trailed in his match despite playing the 16 holes in 1 over par. With 1 ½ points, he’s in the best position in this pod to advance.
Bryson DeChambeau (5) def. Si Woo Kim (45), 2 and 1: Coming back from a surprising Day 1 loss, DeChambeau was wild on Thursday – seven birdies, four bogeys and a double. That volatility was still enough to flip a late deficit to Kim, as he won the 14th with a birdie to tie the match and then rolled from there, winning the match when Kim’s tee shot on 17 found the penalty area.
Tommy Fleetwood (21) def. Antoine Rozner (58), 4 and 3: Rozner, the relative unknown from France who was a late addition to the field, crashed back to reality after his surprising opening victory over DeChambeau. Rozner made five bogeys and Fleetwood was able to cruise to victory even without his best stuff.
Xander Schauffele (6) def. Jason Day (44), 2 and 1: Schauffele and Day combined for three double bogeys over their first eight holes and were tied through 15 holes. But it was Schauffele who finally caught fire with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17 to win the match.
Scottie Scheffler (30) vs. Andy Sullivan (57), tied: Scheffler had a double bogey and a triple bogey and still led, 2 up through 16. Sullivan, however, won the 17th with a birdie and the 18th when Scheffler dropped one final shot.
Patrick Reed (7) def. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (33), 2 and 1: After an opening halve, Reed led from the jump, making birdie on four of the first eight holes and never giving the South African much of a chance. On the back nine, he never led by fewer than two holes.
Joaquin Niemann (26) vs. Bubba Watson (55), tied: Three down with five to play, Watson, the 2018 champion, rallied with three birdies over the closing stretch, including a 7-footer on the last to eke out a half point for the second consecutive day. Niemann bogeyed Nos. 14 and 15 to open the door for Watson. Both players are still alive in poo play but will need help from Reed on Friday.
Sergio Garcia (39) def. Tyrrell Hatton (8), 3 and 2: The Spaniard led for all but one hole Thursday, playing his first 13 holes in 4 under par to bury the eighth-ranked player in the world. Garcia put an exclamation point on his victory with a tee shot to 4 feet on the drivable 13th, even though he missed the eagle putt. Through two rounds, Garcia has been one of the most impressive players in the field, ranking second in the strokes gained: tee to green category.
Lee Westwood (18) def. Matt Wallace (51), 5 and 3: In a battle of Englishman, Westwood bounced back and took full advantage of an opponent who woefully struggled on Day 2, with Wallace carding eight bogeys. Not only does Westwood need Garcia to lose his Friday match, but he’ll need to win against Hatton in a matchup pitting likely 2021 Ryder Cuppers.
Mackenzie Hughes (48) def. Webb Simpson (9), 4 and 3: Hughes improved to 2-0, never trailing against the top seed in the pod and taking a comfortable lead after winning back-to-back holes to close out the front nine.
Paul Casey (17) def. Talor Gooch (59), 3 and 2: After an early loss, Casey still didn’t have his best stuff on Day 2, playing his first 10 holes in 2 over par, but he was still plenty good enough to oust Gooch, who lost Nos. 11-13 and never recovered. Casey is still alive in the pod, but he needs to win Friday – and get some help from Hughes.
Patrick Cantlay (10) def. Carlos Ortiz (42), 1 up: A day after playing the best round of anyone in the field, with six birdies and an eagle, Cantlay stayed hot against Ortiz, racking up seven more birdies against just one bogey. Ortiz held his own, making five birdies, and he had a chance to steal a half point with a 15-footer on the last, but his putt drifted left. Cantlay, now 2-0, is assured of at least a playoff Friday.
Brian Harman (54) def. Hideki Matsuyama (23), 1 up: The hard-luck loser on Day 1, Harman was stellar again against Matsuyama, but he still narrowly escaped with a full point after needing to make a 5-foot birdie putt on the last green. Harman won the 11th after Matsuyama won the water, made a 30-footer for eagle on No. 13 after driving the green and then closed out the match with a stuffed wedge into the home hole. Matsuyama is now 0-2.
Rory McIlroy (11) def. Lanto Griffin (46), 4 and 3: After hitting 11 bags of balls following his big Day 1 loss to Ian Poulter, McIlroy played better – if not excellent – on Day 2. He had four birdies and two bogeys and never trailed, cruising to an easy victory.
Ian Poulter (60) def. Cameron Smith (25), 1 up: Smith won Nos. 16 and 17 to get 1 down with one to play, but Poulter matched the Aussie’s birdie at No. 18 to move to 2-0-0.
Tony Finau (12) vs. Will Zalatoris (40), tied: It was an ugly way to earn a half point for Finau, who was 1 up with two to play but found the penalty area off the tee on the par-3 17th. He still maintained his advantage after Zalatoris made bogey, but he squandered that edge with a drive into the right trees, a wedge that failed to reach the green and then a closing bogey. The uninspiring finish cost Finau, the top seed in the pod, a chance to advance from pool play, with just a half point through two rounds.
Dylan Frittelli (64) def. Jason Kokrak (29), 3 and 2: The lowest-seeded player in the field, Frittelli improved to 2-0 after a back-nine rally against Kokrak. One down through eight holes and 4 over par for the day, Frittelli made four birdies and an eagle the rest of the way, closing out the match with the 20-footer for eagle on 16.
Bernd Wiesberger (43) def. Viktor Hovland (13), 4 and 2: It was yet another rough day for Hovland, the top seed in the pod. A day after making only one birdie in an opening-round loss, Hovland made five bogeys and couldn’t keep pace with Wiesberger. At 0-2, Hovland, a pre-tournament favorite, was effectively eliminated.
Abe Ancer (27) def. Kevin Streelman (53), 2 and 1: Ancer trailed for only two holes – the first two – on his way to going 2-0 for the week. To secure his place in the knockout round, Ancer can tie his Friday match against the top seed Hovland, who has already been bounced.
Brendon Todd (47) def. Daniel Berger (14), 2 and 1: Todd made four birdies on the back nine to pull away in the match. All four players in the group have one point, because …
Erik van Rooyen (62) def. Harris English (19), 2 and 1: Van Rooyen, who lost, 6 and 4, to Berger on Day 1, was 5 up through 13 holes on Day 2. English won the next three holes in an effort to earn a tie, but couldn’t complete the task.
Matt Fitzpatrick (15) def. Corey Conners (37), 5 and 4: After making just a single birdie during his opening-day loss to Spieth, Fitzpatrick made five birdies in the first 10 holes Thursday to build a big lead against the Canadian, who was effectively eliminated following his second consecutive loss.
Matthew Wolff (20) vs. Jordan Spieth (49), tied: Spieth will be lamenting this one, as he carried a 2-up lead with two to play. That’s when he played left of the flag on the short 17th, pulling his tee shot into the rocks and eventually conceding the hole. Then he failed to carry the false front on the 18th hole, caught too much ball on his pitch shot and walked off with bogey – gifting Wolff the last two holes and a half point, after a match in which Wolff made five bogeys. Both players are still in control of their fate, however, with their 1 ½ points leading the way in the group.
Marc Leishman (36) def. Sungjae Im (16), 2 and 1: Though tight for much of the match – they were tied for nine holes – Leishman was able to hang on for the full point, taking the 15th with a par and then the 16th via concession. Each player in the group now has one point heading into the final day of pool play.
Russell Henley (50) def. Victor Perez (31), 4 and 3: After an opening loss, Henley played mistake-free golf on Thursday, going 4 under for his 15 holes and failing to create many opportunities for Perez, the European Ryder Cup hopeful. With one point apiece for each player in the pod, this group is very much up for grabs.