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

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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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