Bob MacIntyre playing for pride against Sergio Garcia in WGC Match Play


Having already tasted defeat at the hands of Open champion Collin Morikawa on Wednesday, MacIntyre needed to beat American Jason Kokrak to keep alive his hopes of reaching the knock-out stage at Austin Country Club for the second year in a row.

As had been the case in his opening match, though, the 25-year-old from Oban found himself on the back foot almost from the off and trailed his opponent on this occasion all the way from the second hole.

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Despite making birdies at the fourth, sixth, tenth and 13th holes, he eventually succumbed 3&2 to Kokrak, the world No 27 and a three-time winner on the PGA Tour.

Bob MacIntyre talks with caddy Mike Thomson on the fifth hole during his match against Jason Kokrak in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Texas. Picture: Chuck Burton/Getty Images.

Kokrak, who lost 4&3 to Garcia in his opening match, admitted he’d seen improvements in his game. “I hit the ball a lot better today,” he said.

“(Coach) Drew Steckel and I worked on something that we talked about yesterday and a little bit of something this morning on the way here.

“I was getting my left wrist a little cupped on the takeaway and on the backswing, so that was causing me to miss a lot right and be short.

“We tried to make it a little bit flatter at the top of the swing, and it really helped out as I hit a lot of quality golf shots today.”

The double defeat means MacIntyre can no longer progress to the last 16, as he did 12 months ago from a group that included Dustin Johnson, the world No 1 at the time, on his debut at the event.

Garcia, the record points-scorer in the Ryder Cup, heads into the match against MacIntyre tied with Morikawa on one-and-a-half points after the Spaniard secured an unlikely share of the spoils in the other match.

Wearing white-rimmed sunglasses, Garcia was three down to Morikawa with just five holes to play before making back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th from eight feet and 30 feet respectively.

The former Masters champion made it three gains in a row with another birdie at the par-5 16th before having a chance to sneak a win from 25 feet at the last but then had to knock in a tester for the half.

“If you would have offered me half on the 14th tee, I would have definitely taken it and run to the clubhouse,” said a smiling Garcia.

For the second day running, Paul Casey conceded his match due to back spasms, with Swede Alex Noren picking up a point on this occasion without having to hit a shot.

“I don’t know,” said Casey in reply to being asked if planned to try again in the final round-robin matches. “I can’t go through, so it’s kind of like what’s the point.

“I hate to just give a guy a match, and that would be Louis [Oosthuizen] tomorrow. I guess that makes it even, doesn’t it. I give one to Corey [Conners] and now Alex.”

Defending champion Billy Horschel made it two wins out of two, as did Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick and ever-improving Irishman Seamus Power as they beat Ian Poulter and Patrick Cantlay respectively.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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