Tiger Woods eliminates Rory McIlroy with win at WGC Match Play

Tiger Woods drained a clutch 13-foot par putt on No. 17 Saturday to finish a 2&1 victory over Rory McIlroy and advance to the quarterfinals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Woods will face Lucas Bjerregaard at 2:10 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon.

McIlroy was 3 down through 10 holes but rallied to cut the deficit to one shot. The hottest player in the world following his Players Championship victory, McIlroy was in great position to tie the match at the par-5 16th hole thanks to a 395-yard drive. Woods missed his tee shot left and was still away after laying up back into the fairway.

McIlroy’s decision to fire at the flag anyway from 172 yards out proved extremely costly. He missed right and ended up in a horrible lie, popping it over the green and out of bounds from there and eventually made a shocking double bogey to fall 2 down with two holes to play.

Woods played mostly mistake-free golf and remained in control for the majority of the match.

Woods didn’t lose a single hole until the par-5 12th, where an errant tee shot left him in a fairway bunker and unable to reach the green in two. He eventually three-putted for a bogey and conceded McIlroy’s short birdie attempt to fall back to 2 up.

RORY COLLAPSES: Rory McIlroy suffers major meltdown

The duo traded pars through four holes before Woods struck first with a birdie at the par-4 fifth. He added another birdie to go 2 up on the next hole and was on cruise control from there, picking up another one with a birdie at the par-5 10th.

Woods was already in for birdie and made McIlroy putt from 3 feet. That birdie try lipped out and Woods took a 3-up advantage.

Just when the match appeared to be nearing its conclusion, McIlroy rallied with back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 to keep things interesting. But he couldn’t capitalize from there and numerous early mistakes on the green caught up to him as Woods knocked him out in the Round of 16.

 

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