AUSTIN, Texas – Grinding to the very end, Patrick Cantlay rolled in a winding 17-footer for birdie on the 18th hole for an opening-day victory at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
“I feel like it shouldn’t be that hard. I was 8 or 9 under par,” Cantlay said with a slightly bewildered look on his face. “I played great. Didn’t make any bogeys, and it was all the way to the bitter end really sweating it out.”
Cantlay was 8 under par and his round could have been even better had Brian Harman not conceded the eighth hole with Cantlay eying an 11-footer for birdie. It was the kind of stress-free round players dream about, but the day was anything but stress-free.
Harman was also 8 under par and didn’t have a bogey in a match that never featured more than a 1-up lead for either player.
“I think sometimes that’s just match play, and it’s whatever it takes to win that day,” Cantlay said. “I’m happy with what I did today, it’s the best I can do, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
By comparison both Harris English and Abraham Ancer were even par on Day 1 at Austin Country Club and both won their matches, 1 up, and, 3 and 2, respectively.