Mickelson off to good start at Match Play in Texas

American Woodland, now 37 in the world rankings and runner-up in 2015, pulled out of the event in Texas due to a "personal family matter".

Phil Mickelson continued his very easy run through the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play opening rounds.

For just about everyone else, it was a matter of surviving.

Two years ago at Harding Park, seven matches went extra holes and cut in front of matches that were ready to start.

"As of now, I am going to be back with my mom", said Day, who had tears streaming down his face.

"I'm hoping for a speedy recovery for her, and we can get this behind us and she can live a long life", Day said.

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia both won two matches and now square off Friday to see which Spaniard wins the group.

Mickelson cruised past J.B. Holmes, 6 and 5, on Friday to advance to the Round of 16. He showed up, then drove the green on the par-4 opening hole at Austin Country Club to within 12 feet for eagle. The answer has always been to play better.

Johnson and Alex Noren (No. 8) were the only top 10 seeds left going into the weekend.

Defending champion Jason Day tearfully withdrew from the Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, after six holes Wednesday so he could be with his mother when she has surgery for lung cancer.

Dustin Johnson's quest for WGC grand slam continues in Match Play
He's got that thing about him that's going to make him a big-time victor out here, and hopefully I can hang with him". Television: Wednesday-Friday, 2-8 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 10 a.m. -2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (NBC).

Justin Thomas (6) also was knocked out. McIlroy faced Woodland in the championship match when he won the Match Play in 2015 at Harding Park.

He was 3 down after six holes to Pat Perez.

Fitzpatrick didn't even endure the greatest frustration.

With a handful of family and friends wearing "Go Mo" buttons, Martin had a "really good putting day", starting when she rolled in a downhill 15-footer on the first hole.

Charles Howell III won a three-man playoff on the fifth extra hole over Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Casey was always in front advancing to 3-up after 7 holes but with the South Korean winning the next two holes with birdies.

Hatton says he didn't know the rule: "I really wasn't thinking at that stage".

Shane Lowry also bowed out with one round of group games to go after losing 2&1 to young Spanish star John Rahm, who will now take on Sergio Garcia in an intriguing victor takes all game on Friday. Garcia at least provided one unforgettable moment when a burst of rain during his tee shot on the 13th hole caused him to lose his grip. "But it was nice to hit the ball like I feel I've been playing".

Ross Fisher of England came up with another clutch moment. He said he played at Bay Hill last week and Match Play this week because he felt a responsibility to the fans, to the tournament and yes, even his mother. On Friday, he beat Jim Furyk and then holed a 20-foot birdie putt to beat Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff. So we wish him all the best, and his family all the best.

And now, everyone starts with a clean slate.

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