2022 WGC-Dell Match Play scores, results: Stars shine on Day 1 at Austin Country Club

As is normally the case at the WGC-Dell Match Play, the first round of pool play on Wednesday was full of absurd moments, terrific matches and (contrary to last year) plenty of success for the best players in the world. The most hilarious moment of the day involved a rules official restructuring the field of play (we’ll go over that in detail below), and Austin Country Club once again proved itself a great venue for this style of event.

Players were forced into difficult decisions and had to hit big-time shots to close out their matches. Let’s take a look at the results from Wednesday and what they mean for the rest of the week as the first WGC event of 2022 plays out at Austin Country Club and we march toward the Round of 16 on Saturday morning.


Group 1: Jon Rahm 4 and 2 over Sebastian Munoz
Group 1: Cameron Young 1 up over Patrick Reed

Group 2: Collin Morikawa 2 and 1 over Robert MacIntyre
Group 2: Sergio Garcia 4 an 3 over Jason Kokrak

Group 3: Viktor Hovland 1 up over Sepp Straka
Group 3: Will Zalatoris 5 and 4 over Cameron Tringale

Group 4: Patrick Cantlay tied Keith Mitchell
Group 4: Seamus Power 5 and 4 over Sungjae Im

Group 5: Scottie Schefler 2 and 1 over Ian Poulter
Group 5: Matt Fitzpatrick 1 up over Tommy Fleetwood

Group 6: Luke List 3 and 2 over Justin Thomas
Group 6: Kevin Kisner 4 and 3 over Marc Leishman

Group 7: Xander Schauffele 3 and 2 over Takumi Kanaya
Group 7: Lucas Herbert 4 and 3 over Tony Finau

Group 8: Dustin Johnson 3 and 2 over Mackenzie Hughes
Group 8: Max Homa 3 and 1 over Matthew Wolff

Group 9: Bryson DeChambeau tied Richard Bland
Group 9: Talor Gooch 3 and 2 over Lee Westwood

Group 10: Alex Noren 1 up over Louis Oosthuizen
Group 10: Corey Conners def. Paul Casey (conceded)

Group 11: Jordan Spieth 2 up over Keegan Bradley
Group 11: Adam Scott: 2 up over Justin Rose

Group 12: Billy Horschel 3 and 2 over Min Woo Lee
Group 12: Thomas Pieters 2 and 1 over Tom Hoge

Group 13: Tyrrell Hatton: 3 and 2 over Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Group 13: Yes Woo Kim 2 up over Daniel Berger

Group 14: Maverick McNealy 8 and 6 over Joaquin Niemann
Group 14: Kevin Na 1 up over Russell Henley

Group 15: Abraham Ancer 3 and 1 over Bubba Watson
Group 15: Webb Simpson 1 up over Brian Harman

Group 16: Brooks Koepka 3 and 2 over Erik van Rooyen
Group 16: Harold Varner 2 and 1 Shane Lowry

Two takeaways

1. Good match play golfers stay hot: Three names on this list stick out. Last year’s finalists, Scottie Scheffler and Billy Horschel, both played strong golf on Wednesday and started 1-0 in their respective pools. Horschel won it all last year and is a menace in this format, and Scheffler has now defeated Jon Rahm and Ian Poulter twice each in his last six individual match play matches (including last year’s event and the 2020 Ryder Cup last September where he downed Rahm ). The other golfer that shined was Alex Noren, who ran his match play record at Austin Country Club to 13-3-0 (!!) with his 1 up win over Louis Oosthuizen.

2. Stars shine: After last year’s event when only one big name (Rahm) advanced to the Round of 16, the top players in the world fared better this time around. Of the top 16 seeds in the event, only Justin Thomas, Joaquin Niemann and Oosthuizen lost. Cinderellas are fun until they compose the entire Round of 16. This path, where matchups featuring Brooks Koepka vs. Rahm and Collin Morikawa vs. Abraham Ancer is far more exciting to consider.

Shot of the day

I don’t know if it was technically the shot of the day, but Dustin Johnson pumping a drive 420 yards, which was 40 yards past the preious long drive on the 16th hole made me cackle.

Golf Channel

Quote of the day

Maverick McNealy got into the event at the 11th hour and absolutely pasted Niemann 8 and 6. He was pretty fired up after his match, and then he revealed where his name came from, which has absolutely nothing to do with anything he accomplished on Wednesday but I still found quite interesting.

“[My brothers and I are] all named after American cars, “he said.” Ford Maverick, Dodge Dakota, I think the Dodge Colt and International Scout. ”

Pillow fight of the day

The Bryson DeChambeau-Richard Bland match left a lot to be desired. They combined to make nine bogeys, lost nearly two strokes combined and the entire thing ended in a tie. It was a dramatic reentry to the PGA Tour for DeChambeau, however. He pumped his first drive into a University of Texas information tent, chunked his second shot and three-putted from 100 feet for bogey. On the second hole, he shanked his approach shot, and the content king’s return was officially complete.

Match of the day

It has to be Oosthuizen and Noren. Oosthuizen finished sixth in the field in strokes gained, made seven birdies and lost. Noren is an absolute beast in this format, and he was again on Wednesday as he made four birdies, an eagle and just one bogey. Scheffler-Poulter deserves honorable mention here for the way it ended. Scheffler birdied his last three holes on a 17-foot putt, a 19-foot putt and a 9-foot putt to close out the Englishman.

Upset of the day

It has to be Luke List over Thomas. JT not only came in as the No. 6 seed, but he’s been playing some of the best golf in the world over the last few months. He shot 1 over, though, and only made one birdie (at his first hole of the day).

Rick Gehman and Kyle Porter react to Wednesday’s action at Austin Country Club. The guys also lookahead to Thursday’s round 2 at the WGC Match Play. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Such a normal sport

On the drivable par-4 13th hole at Austin Country Club, Thomas Pieters hit a shot toward the greenside water that came to rest on a sprinkler head. Normally, this would mean he gets relief, but because the penalty area was painted right next to the sprinkler head, and the ball was technically touching the red line, he was not entitled to relief, which he was displeased him. This would have been absurd enough on its own, but then later in the day the exact same thing happened to DeChambeau, and he was given relief. Shortly after he took relief from the sprinkler head, a PGA Tour official went out and spray painted over the line. Moving the sidelines in the middle of a game is definitely something that would only happen in this preposterous sport!

Best tweet

That sequence of events also led to this amazing tweet from former Detroit Lions QB Dan Orlovsky, who once accidentally ran out of the back of the end zone by severl feet during a game against the Minnesota Vikings.

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