AUSTIN, Texas – Like Austin, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play can be weird but this went beyond early upsets and dramatic finishes.
Cruising along at 3 up through 12 holes, Jordan Spieth took a familiar path at the par-4 13th hole in his Day 1 match against Matt Fitzpatrick with a tee shot down the right side of the fairway. Unfortunately, his golf ball sailed a little too far right and bounced hard off a cart path before racing across the adjacent 15th green.
“To that back left pin [at No. 13] it's a no-brainer, you hit driver up there and you have a 50- to 60-yard pitch right up the green, and that wedge shot is just so difficult to the back left pin,” said Spieth, who won his match, 3 and 1. “You have 80 yards of room, as long as it doesn't toe-drop in the water, any other position is fine.”
What Spieth didn’t see is that his ball raced across the 15th green just as Patrick Cantlay was hitting his 11-footer for birdie.
“It just kind of came out of the corner of my eye as I was taking it back, and I didn't stop. I hit a good putt, actually, and I thought it would have broke,” said Cantlay, who won his match, 1 up, against Brian Harman. “That's golf on Tour; weird stuff happens every day.”
Cantlay didn’t know whose ball it was that had caromed onto the 15th green until after his round. “I'll give him crap about it,” he smiled when informed it was Spieth.