Only four golfers remain standing after a long day of intense golf competition at the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Sam Burns, and Cameron Young will face off in the semifinals at Austin Country Club on Sunday, with the winners advancing to the championship match.
In the first semifinal, World No. 1 Scheffler will have to put his friendship with Sam Burns as he has his eyes on repeating as the WGC-Dell Match Play champion. The two players are often seen together off the course and even travel to tournaments together, but they know that only one of them can emerge victorious. Burns actually defeated Scheffler in a playoff at the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge, so Scheffler will be looking for some revenge.
The other semifinal will feature two of the best drivers in the game, as Rory McIlroy and Cam Young square off. McIlroy managed to come out on top against Xander Schauffele in the quarterfinals, but he never held the lead until the final putt dropped. He’ll have his work cut out for him against Young, who has been playing some of the best golf of the tournament. McIlroy recorded an impressive 17 birdies on Saturday, but he’ll need a similar effort to overcome this strong young American golfer.
A Back And Forth Quarterfinal
In a highly anticipated matchup between two of the top 10 players in the world, Rory McIlroy managed to edge out Xander Schauffele 1 UP in a thrilling quarterfinal at the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. This was a rematch of their showdown at the 2021 Ryder Cup, where McIlroy also came out on top with a 3 & 2 victory.
McIlroy got off to a slow start and fell behind early when Schauffele converted four birdies in his opening seven holes to take a 2 UP lead. But McIlroy battled back and a pair of birdies on either side of the turn tied the match up heading into the back nine.
The two players traded blows on Nos. 12-13, setting the stage for a dramatic finish. Both players birdied the 15th and 16th holes to remain tied going into the 17th. McIlroy hit a poor tee shot on the 17th that flew over the green, while Schauffele hit his inside 10 feet. However, Schauffele was unable to convert his birdie opportunity, giving McIlroy a chance to pounce. And that’s exactly what he did, clinching the victory with a birdie on the 18th.
McIlroy never held the lead in this match until the final putt dropped. He tallied an impressive 17 birdies over the course of his two matches on Saturday, and he’ll need to continue that kind of play against Cam Young if he hopes to advance to the championship.
Rolling it in for the win 🔥 pic.twitter.com/TX7vRlVzqs
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 25, 2023