AUSTIN, Texas – Rallies defined Day 1 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, and no one came from further back than Keegan Bradley.
Bradley played his first 10 holes in 3 over par and was 4 down to Denny McCarthy with five holes to play before he pulled off an unlikely tie with a birdie-eagle-par-birdie finish.
“I was pretty upset. I was pretty bummed out. I just got to keep going, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I finally started hitting some good shots coming in, and it definitely paid off,” said Bradley, who had gone 16-consecutive matches in this event without a victory, dating to his first-round victory over Geoff Ogilvy at the 2012 edition.
Matches and scoring from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship
Keith Mitchell had a similar rally after falling 3 down to Billy Horschel through 11 holes. Mitchell made birdie putts of 5 feet at No. 12, 15 feet at the 14th, 4 feet at No. 16 and secured the half point with a 2-footer at the last.
“This tournament is impossible to predict, so half point is better than nothing. Didn't play best on the front side, and I played much better on the back,” Mitchell said.
Adam Scott didn’t have as much ground to make up, but his finish was just as impressive. The Australian was 2 down through 13 holes against Seamus Power, but he birdied three of his final five holes to flip the match for a 1-up victory.
“When you win two of the last three, you're squeaking out of a match,” said Scott, who connected on a 26-footer for birdie at the 18th hole for the victory. “Not much was going for either of us. A couple errors by both of us on the back nine. Some good stuff at the end of the match to win. It always feels good to get a win; even if it's the first round of the Match Play, it feels like a win."