TechnologyTechnology NewsRory McIlroy qualifies for WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play semi-finals after Xander Schauffele nail-biter | GolfNews
TechnologyTechnology NewsRory McIlroy qualifies for WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play semi-finals after Xander Schauffele nail-biter | GolfNews
Technology News

Rory McIlroy qualifies for WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play semi-finals after Xander Schauffele nail-biter | GolfNews

Rory McIlroy is through to the WGC Match Play last four at Austin Country Club after beating Xander Schauffele; Scottie Scheffler was imperious on the back nine as he came from three holes down to beat Jason Day; Sam Burns is also through to the semi-finals

Last Updated: 26/03/23 7:45am

Rory McIlroy edged Xander Schauffele on the final hole of their quarter-final in the WGC Match Play

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Rory McIlroy edged Xander Schauffele on the final hole of their quarter-final in the WGC Match Play

Rory McIlroy edged Xander Schauffele on the final hole of their quarter-final in the WGC Match Play

Rory McIlroy will face Cameron Young in the semi-finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after a nail-biting win over Xander Schauffele.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is also through and plays Sam Burns after producing a back-nine masterclass to come from three behind to beat Jason Day.

After being deadlocked from the 12th hole onwards, McIlroy and Schauffele both found trouble from the tee on the 18th leaving difficult approach shots to the green.

The American was worse off and could not find the putting surface with his second shot. He chipped onto the green to give himself a chance with his third before McIlroy stepped up and holed a magnificent birdie from 12 feet at the last to seal a brilliant 1up victory.

Scottie Scheffler (1) vs. Sam Burns (13) – 3.05pm

Rory McIlroy (3) vs. Cameron Young (15) – 3.20pm

watch the semi-finals and final of the WGC Match Play live on Sky Sports Golf from 3pm

It was the first time he led in the entire match and it came at just the right time.

“Yeah I feel great,” McIlroy, who beat Australian Lucas Herbert 2 up earlier in the day, told Sky Sports. “If someone told me I was going to be a combined 16 under par for the two rounds, there’s no way I would’ve thought I played the 18th twice today but it just shows the caliber that you need to play at out here to try to beat these guys.

McIlroy relished the pressure of head-to-head golf after The Players Championship and is still feeling great after 36 holes on Saturday

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McIlroy relished the pressure of head-to-head golf after The Players Championship and is still feeling great after 36 holes on Saturday

McIlroy relished the pressure of head-to-head golf after The Players Championship and is still feeling great after 36 holes on Saturday

“I got off to a little bit of a slower start this afternoon compared to this morning but was able to sort of battle and claw my way back and I held some great putts down the stretch to finally get the win.”

Scheffler was three shots behind his Australian opponent on the seventh after Day made three birdies and an eagle in the first six holes of their match-up, but hit eight birdies without a bogey during his round – including five in his last six holes – to claim a 2&1 triumph.

It came after he completed an epic comeback to defeat JT Poston 1 up earlier in the day, when he was sitting two behind going into the final four holes, before hitting three birdies and parring the last to claim an unlikely win.

Scottie Scheffler acknowledged the gallery after defeating JT Poston

Scottie Scheffler acknowledged the gallery after defeating JT Poston

“It’s not like I was playing bad,” said Scheffler.

“I was playing pretty solid. There’s not much you can do. So I was like, ‘hey man, if you’re going to do that then I tip my cap to you, that’s just good golf and there’s nothing you can do to stop it’.

“If he was to keep it up for the whole round, I would just say the same thing, just take my hat off, shake hands, and say great job. Luckily for me, he wasn’t able to do that.”

Burns beat Mackenzie Hughes 3&2 top to reach the semi-finals and face his good friend Scheffler.

Young was the final player to seal a last-fourth berth, defeating Kurt Kitayama 1up, to set up the clash with McIlroy.

McIlroy: Winning the Match Play is a massive accomplishment

McIlroy, who previously won the tournament in 2015, revealed after his victory how much he would covet being crowned WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play champion once again.

McIlroy is through to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play semi-finals

McIlroy is through to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play semi-finals

The 33-year-old, who is playing with a new putter and driver shaft, said the psychological toll of the format made it tougher to triumph than many of the other events on the tour.

“I think winning the Match Play is always a massive accomplishment because of what you have to go through,” said McIlroy.

“It’s seven rounds and, especially this week, I feel like a lot of my matches have been really, really close, so to be able to pull them out when I’ve needed to has been very gratifying.

“Maybe there’s a higher sense of satisfaction when you get through on Sunday night and you’re able to win. I feel like it’s maybe just more of an achievement mentally to do it rather than just winning a four-round stroke-play event. “

Watch the semi-finals and final of the WGC Match Play live on Sky Sports Golf from 3pm on Sunday.

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