Soren Kjeldsen and Alex Noren Advance Early at WGC Dell Match Play

World number two Rory McIlroy hammered his tee shot on the 12th an astonishing 410 yards in Austin, Texas, during his opening match of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. In golf, like we saw when Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth were ousted by much lesser names on Wednesday, anything can happen.

He later revealed he had withdrawn to be with his mother, who is battling lung cancer. Her surgery will be performed in OH, where Jason said he will be by her side. In the 46 holes he has played over three days, he has led after every one of them, from the first hole of every match. "I went through this with my dad, so I know how it feels, and it's very hard to see my mum go through it as well".

"Emotionally it's been wearing on me for a while and I know my mum says not to let it get to me but it really has, so I just need some time away with her to make sure that everything goes well because this has been very, very tough for me. But today I hit the ball nice and it was a good result".

On Wednesday, distraught Australian star Jason Day conceded his match against American Pat Perez after only six holes at Austin Country Club. Noren beat No. 36 Bernd Wiesberger of Austria 3 and 2, and with No. 25 Francesco Molinari of Italy pulling out of the tournament following a 5-and-3 defeat to No. 57 Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Noren is through to the next round.

Unfortunately for the world No. 2, his third match will be meaningless.

Despite struggling in the early stages of the match, Kjeldsen ran out a comfortable 4&3 victor against the man from Argentina.

Mullinax had a one-shot lead over D.A. Points among the early starters at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club. All that's left is for McIlroy to decide whether to play the Houston Open next week. That meant McIlroy won a match he didn't even play. "Overall, I can't be too disappointed". That put him in a playoff against Matt Fitzpatrick, who went from 2 down to a 2-up victory with four straight birdies. Martin also sympathized with his situation when he said, "The most important thing in his world right now is being with his mom Friday during that surgery..." But Garcia responds with a birdie on No. 5 to get back to 1 down. And he never caught up.

Na looked set to complete a 100 per cent record when he was four up after seven holes, only to lose seven of the next eight as Wood recorded four birdies and an eagle thanks to some brilliant approach play. In truth, McIlroy needs the competitive action. Na will face off against Kevin Fitzpatrick, who he beat on Day 1, to determine who advances to the Sweet 16 from Group 6. Next up was Francesco Molinari, and Noren failed to win, he would have gone into a sudden-death playoff against the victor of the third-round match between Thongchai and Wiesberger.

  • Julie Sanders