Corey Conners improved his record to 2–0 on Thursday at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tx.
After Paul Casey conceded Wednesday’s first match to Conners due to back spasms, Conners came back to defeat Louis Oosthuizen 2&1.
Oosthuizen birdied the second hole before Conners tied it at the sixth and went 2 up with birdies on eight and nine. Oosthuizen had birdies of his own on 11 and 13 to tie the score, but Conners won the 16th and 17th holes to win the match.
“It was a hard-fought battle,” said Conners.
“I felt like I played really well on the front nine, got myself into the lead making the turn, kind of struggled in the first few holes on the back nine and was able to escape not losing too many holes and then won a couple at the end. Nice birdie on the last, got a pretty good read from his putt,” said Conners, who will play Alex Noren at 1:44 p.m. local time on Friday.
“He’s been playing really well, as have I, I feel very comfortable with my game, so it will be a good battle, I know we’re both fierce competitors, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully, we have a good match,” he said.
In other matches, Mackenzie Hughes defeated Max Homa 2 up as Homa took a 2 up lead by the sixth hole before Hughes cut that in half on the ninth.
Homa birdied the 10th to restore his 2 up lead, but bogeyed 13 while Hughes parred, then birdied the next hole to tie the score. Homa bogeyed 15, which Hughes parred to take the lead, then eagled the next to add to his lead.
A birdie on 17 by Homa put him within one, but a birdie by Hughes on 18 clinched the match.
“Mid to late front nine, it wasn’t looking good for me, but I’d say towards the end of the back nine, Max and I both kind of made a mess of a couple holes, so it kind of kept me in it,” said Hughes.
“Then kind of 11, 12, there was some momentum there where I made a putt to avoid going 3-down on 11, and then 12, I hit it in the water off my second shot, got up-and-down and he didn’t get up-and-down for birdie,” he said.
“I won 13, 14 and 15 and 16, and just from there I just — yeah, it was just a nice little roll I got on and I feel like in match play more than stroke play probably, the momentum really can shift a match and I felt like I kind of got some there towards the early back nine and just kind of rode it,” he added.
“I think knowing that this format, anything can really happen. I think that it kind of lends itself to you thinking, all right, like let’s just hang in there and if I can just keep putting some pressure on him, you never know when someone is going to make a mistake and just potentially give you a hole and let you back in it,” said Hughes
“So I think it’s easier in a way to stay patient,” he said.
Hughes, 1-1 through his first two matches, will play Matthew Wolff on Friday, beginning at 11:21 a.m.
All the scores are here.
Corales Puntacana Championship
Michael Gligic, Nick Taylor and Roger Sloan each shot a first round, even par 72 and are tied for 43rd.
Click here for the leaderboard.