McIlroy, Tiger, No. 1 DJ open with wins at WGC Match-Play

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Woods' drive left him an 83-yard approach to the pin, and he hit a ideal shot that landed just a few feet from the cup and spun back into the hole.

Woods' eagle on the short par-4 13th came in the middle of a furious comeback in his must-win match against Patrick Cantlay. "[Some players don't] tee off for another hour, so that would have been a bigger challenge", said Woods, whose Day 3 match ended on the 16th hole.

"We've played tournaments together, battled each other down the stretch at events, but never in a match-play situation, so this will be fun".

"I rode my luck a little bit on a few holes on the front nine and Luke led me away with a couple of holes", the Northern Irishman, who has been knocked out in the group stage in the past two years, told Sky Sports.

McIlroy closed out Matthew Fitzpatrick 4-and-2 in his last group match shortly after Woods' victory.

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Tiger Woods hits from the rough on the sixth hole during round-robin play at the Dell Match Play Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

"I needed to put it up there to at least have a chance at three, to force him to have a good pitch from down there", Woods said having arrived at the hole with the lead off the back of two birdies.

I give the abrasive Horschel an edge over the aloof Watson for the simple fact that his ball-striking has been solid - and Bubba doesn't seem like he wants to be here.

Rory McIlroy is well placed to make it into the last 16 at the WGC Match Play. A stunning TEN successive halves followed, including runs of three successive birdies from the fourth to the sixth, before McIlroy finally turned the screw with a stunning eagle at the par five 12th to go two up. The last time they squared off was in the final round previous year at the Tour Championship, where Woods capped off his comeback season with a victory. "There was a lot of ebb and flow in this match", Woods said.

"I guess my attitude has been really good", said Furyk, 48, who finished second to Rory McIlroy two weeks ago at the Players Championship and is in position to qualify for the Masters with another match victory over the next two days. "If I were on his side of things, that's kind of a tough go". Now he's in the knockout stage, facing Lucas Bjerregaard, the Dane who won his group featuring Justin Thomas. Jim Furyk and Henrik Stenson emerged with 2-0 records from the group of major champions. Enough to whet the Augusta appetite for 16 or 17 or 18 holes as we think about what a Masters win would mean for each of these golfers. "I don't practice when I'm at home, so I can't really expect anything different".

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