Rory and Tiger Meet in Match Play for the First Time
Following his win at the Players Championship, Rory McIlroy opened as the favorite, along with Dustin Johnson, in the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. Heading into the weekend, McIlroy is now the lone favorite at +410 and set to face Tiger Woods (+1600) in the last 16 at Austin Country Club.
Woods defeated Patrick Cantlay in a 4-and-2 victory on Friday in his final Group 13 match. On Wednesday, Woods took down Aaron Wise, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, then lost to Brandt Snedeker on Thursday.
McIlroy, on the other hand, won each of his Group 4 matches, taking down Justin Harding, Luke List and Matthew Fitzpatrick. It’s tough to see where Woods, a 14-time major champion, can defeat the No. 4 player in the world. McIlroy is playing at his best and looking to gain steam as he prepares for the Masters April 11-14.
Woods, who is 14th in the World Golf Ranking, is competing in the WGC-Match Play event for the first time since 2013. Interestingly enough, the last time Woods advanced to the last 16 of the tournament in 2008, he ended up the victor. Overall, Tiger has won the WGC-Match Play three times. McIlroy won just once, in 2015.
In his last five tournaments, McIlroy has finished in the top six. In the Farmers Insurance Open, Rory came in fifth, while Woods earned a 20th-place finish. In the Genesis Open, Rory took fourth, with Woods landing at 15th, and at the WGC-Mexico Championship, Rory finished second, while Woods came in 10th. The biggest differential between the two on the season came at the Players Championship, where Woods placed 30th on the leaderboard.
Saturday morning’s matchup between the two will be the first time they’ve faced each other in match play of any kind. Based on recent performances, it’s certainly a safer pick to take McIlroy in Futures betting. But when it comes to Tiger, anything can happen. Saturday’s showdown should be entertaining, if nothing else. But keep your eye on Rory to continue his dominance before heading to Augusta.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+. NJ only. Odds may vary. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.