AUSTIN, Texas — William McGirt is one of 16 golfers remaining at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, punching his ticket for the weekend with a third consecutive win on Friday.
The Fairmont native, seeded 48th out of 64 players, claimed a 1-up victory over Andy Sullivan to advance out of his group with a 3-0 record at Austin Country Club.
“It’s pretty satisfying to go 3-0 because it’s been so long since I’ve played match play,” McGirt told The Robesonian. “There are no pushovers.”
McGirt will face No. 62 Soren Kjeldsen, who finished 3-0 in a group that included Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland and Emiliano Grillo, on Saturday to begin single-elimination matches. The pair will tee off at 9:03 a.m. Eastern time.
McGirt, making his Match Play debut, produced another solid effort, remaining steady by limiting his mistakes to stay undefeated and win the group. With the match all square through eight holes, Sullivan bogeyed the par-4 ninth to hand McGirt the lead — and he never looked back.
“I’ve kept it in play for the most part and scrambled well — that’s been the big thing,” McGirt said. “I’ve let the other guys try to play aggressive and (I’ve) capitalized when they have made mistakes. I’ve scrambled well when I’ve missed greens.”
McGirt carried his momentum to the par-4 13th, rolling in an 8-foot birdie putt to go 2-up in the match, but Sullivan got one back with a birdie on No. 16.
With the halve and group win secured going to the par-4 18th, McGirt capped his round with a tap-in birdie, knocking his approach shot within 2 feet to seal the victory.
“Fortunately, I’ve made some big putts when I needed to make them,” he said. “I need to keep it up. I’m looking forward to playing Soren. We both play the same style of golf so it should be a good match.
“Hopefully, I can come out on top again.”
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.