Kjeldsen and Noren through to WGC – Dell Match Play last 16
Round two report
Soren Kjeldsen and Alex Noren booked their places in the last 16 of the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play a day early after respective victories over Emiliano Grillo and Bernd Wiesberger on day two of the 64-man tournament at Austin, Texas.
Kjeldsen’s victory means World Number Two Rory McIlroy’s match against Grillo on Friday becomes meaningless as neither the Northern Irishman nor the Argentinean can catch Kjeldsen in their group.
McIlroy did not play on Thursday after his match against Gary Woodland was conceded by the American due to personal reasons.
Noren will benefit from the withdrawal of Francesco Molinari on Friday. The Italian was forced out of the tournament with a wrist injury, meaning the Swede will have a 3-0 record in the group stage.
Kjeldsen and Noren are the only two players to have secured their place in the last 16, but they look likely to be joined by World Number One Dustin Johnson, who defeated Martin Kaymer 3 and 2 to secure his second victory of the week and continue his imperious form.
There are some intriguing match-ups on Friday, chief among them the all-Spanish battle between Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm with Garcia needing a victory and Rahm needing at least a half point to advance.
Søren Kjeldsen: “I'm very pleased to make it through. Obviously I was in a very, very, very tough group and I got through that which is a great achievement to start.
"It’s a shame that Gary had to withdraw though. I don't know the details, but Gary is one of the nicest guys out here. So we wish him and his family all the best.
“The weather forecast isn't great tomorrow so I am not sure what I’ll do with the day off. I've got my two boys here. We're just going to take it easy. If the weather is decent in the afternoon I'll come and practice a bit. Apart from that, I'll just enjoy it.”
Sergio Garcia: “It was very difficult today. You not only had to hit the ball very, very well, which I managed to do, but you have to get lucky with guessing how the wind was blowing and how it was going to blow, because it was really gusty.
"But I managed to do that very well for probably 95 percent of the time, and because of that we made a good amount of birdies in difficult conditions.
“Looking forward to playing Jon and at least we know we will have at least one Spanish player going through. At the end of the day the only thing I can do is play the best I can, give it my everything.
"And hopefully it's good enough to beat him. If not, hopefully he gets through and he's the Spanish player in the round of 16.”
Jon Rahm: “Sergio and I both hoped this match would be later on in the tournament, obviously in the final. But we were both in the same group so I suppose whoever wins tomorrow will be in the next round. At least it's good for Spanish golf!”
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