Fleetwood out to punch his weight and knock out DeChambeau at the WGC Match Play Championship

0

Tommy Fleetwood out to punch his weight and knock out Bryson DeChambeau to reach the last 16 at the WGC Match Play Championship

  • Tommy Fleetwood will be looking to extend Bryson DeChambeau’s poor record
  • US Open champion has played 10 games in match play events and won two
  • Bob MacIntyre came so close to a win over Masters champion Dustin Johnson

If it was a boxing match, it would be billed as the Southport Stylist versus the Modesto Monster. There too, given the four stones in weight differences and the eight or nine inches difference around the waist, it could never happen in boxing.

In golf, however, Tommy Fleetwood will have high hopes for his weight and more against Bryson DeChambeau for a place in the last 16 of the WGC Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas.

Shape would suggest a clear victory for the man from that small California town who is anything but modest. But since we’re always told form is thrown out the window when it comes to match play, Fleetwood will see his opportunities to expand DeChambeau’s curiously poor record as a pro in this format.

Tommy Fleetwood takes on Bryson DeChambeau in the WGC Match Play Championship

Tommy Fleetwood takes on Bryson DeChambeau in the WGC Match Play Championship

Considering how much he messes with the heads of some of his rivals these days, it’s fascinating to find out that the US Open head-to-head champion has played 10 matches in different match-play events and won exactly two. That even includes his victory on Thursday against the Korean Si Woo Kim.

Fleetwood took care of Antoine Ruzner from France, who played like he was still mentally out for dinner after his win over DeChambeau the previous day. It was a quiet start to the season for Fleetwood, but what a chance he has to change all that.

“Bryson has literally and figuratively crushed it for the past nine months, so it will certainly be an exciting game,” said the Englishman.

Fleetwood will see his opportunities to extend DeChambeau's poor record in this format

Fleetwood will see his opportunities to extend DeChambeau's poor record in this format

Fleetwood will see his opportunities to extend DeChambeau’s poor record in this format

“ I played him in a foursome match in the last Ryder Cup (he and Frankie Molinari beat Bryson and Tiger Woods), but he’s progressed by leaps and bounds since then. The most important thing for me is to stick to what I can do and play like I did against Antoine. The wind was blowing out there and although my put wasn’t great, I could trust my ball to hit. I thought I was keeping him under pressure all day. ‘

Scotsman Bob MacIntyre came so close to taking the best win of his burgeoning career against American Dustin Johnson.

The 24-year-old left-handed from Oban, who made his debut in this event, played fine golf to play two-on-three, but the Masters champion showed his class with an eagle on the 16th, followed by a birdie on the 17th.

Scotsman Bob MacIntyre came so close to a memorable victory over Masters champion Dustin Johnson

Scotsman Bob MacIntyre came so close to a memorable victory over Masters champion Dustin Johnson

Scotsman Bob MacIntyre came so close to a memorable victory over Masters champion Dustin Johnson

The first meeting between the world’s best right-handed and left-handed golfers ended on the 18th with some of the loot.

Rory McIlroy did a much better performance to beat American Lanto Griffin, but Ian Poulter, the events specialist who badly beat the Northern Irishman on day one, remains in charge of the group after beating Australian Cameron Smith.

Sergio Garcia, who lives in Austin, followed up his win over Lee Westwood with a comfortable win over Tyrrell Hatton that was nothing of its kind. In a win today over Matt Wallace – who lost to Westy on Thursday – the Spaniard will eliminate all three Englishmen.

Advertisement