The first round of the $20 million WGC – DELL Technologies Matchplay took place yesterday (Wednesday) over the 7,108 yards, par 71, at Austin Country Club, Texas.
32 singles matches in all were played on day one involving 64 players in this round robin four player group format over 18 holes.
One of the shocks of round one was the victory by Rickie Fowler (USA) over Jon Rahm (ESP) by 2&1.
Dubai based Adrian Meronk (POL) beat recent winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour and former winner of the Oman Open, Kurt Kitiyama (USA) by 2&1.
Both players were making their debuts in this WGC – Matchplay. None of the first three holes were tied, yet Meronk was two up after the fifth hole. Kitayama made three birdies in a five-hole stretch (Nos. 9-13) to tie the match but Meronk birdied holes 15, 16 and 17 to close it out on the 17th hole, making a total of seven birdies on the day. Kitayama made five birdies and a lone bogey in this first match, but the closing stretch by Meronk proved too strong.
Meronk will today (Thursday) play in Match 33, the first match of the day, against number one seed in Group 10, Tony Finau (USA), who beat Christian Bezuidenhout (RSA) by 2&1.
Other notable matches saw wins by Rory McIlroy (NI) 3&1, OWGR Number One and defending champion Scottie Scheffler (USA) by one up, Patrick Cantlay (USA) by one up, Jordan Spieth (USA) by 4&3 and Ryan Fox (NZ) by 2&1.
Those looking for better days after disappointing first rounds include Matt Fitzpatrick (lost 5&3), Tyrrell Hatton (lost 3&1), Tommy Fleetwood (lost 3&2), Victor Hovland (lost 3&1), Victor Perez (lost 2&1), Seamus Power (lost one hole) and Shane Lowry (lost 2&1).
The biggest win of the day was by Sungjai Im (South Korea) who beat Maverick McNealy (US) by 8&6.
The second and third round matches in the groups will be held today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), when the 16 group winners will play in knockout matchplay over the weekend.