Matthew Fitzpatrick is hoping to reach the final 16 of the WGC Dell Match Play
Fitzpatrick was never behind in the match against Wood and last year’s Ryder Cup colleague by sealing an emphatic 4 & 2 victory in bright but extremely windy conditions on the Austin Country Club course in Texas capital.
“It’s always difficult playing a friend,” said Fitzpatrick.
“We played on the Ryder Cup team and we play against each other regularly on the Tour.
“So, it’s difficult to show any emotion but then it was a bit of a battle out there for me and Chris given how windy it was. I played pretty nicely and score well.”
Victory gave Fitzpatrick his first win in the initial three-match round robin format of the $US 9.75m event.
For Wood, and the reigning BMW PGA champion, it was his second straight loss ahead of Friday’s final match against American Kevin Na.
Chris Wood will come up against Kevin Na on Friday
Na is undefeated beating the hot-shot compatriot Justin Thomas by a similar 4 & 2 margin and winning over Fitzpatrick on day one.
It means the 33-year old Na leads his group of four with two points from two wins with Fitzpatrick one point after his victory over Wood while Thomas also has one point from Thursday’s victory over Wood.
But for Fitzpatrick to advance to the last 16 he must first silence Thomas’ challenge and also rely on Wood to defeat Na.
High Wycombe’s Tyrrell Hatton again looked impressive securing a second victory winning 2-up over Korean Jeunghun Wang and with Hatton needing just a half against Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello to top his group.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Paul Casey is also undefeated after a hard-fought 1-up victory over Wentworth attached Byeong Hun An.
Highest paid golfers 2016
Wed, July 27, 2016
Express Sport brings you the highest paid golfers for 2016. Statistics from Forbes rich list
1 of 10
10. Henrik Stenson – Total earnings: $13.9m including $8.9m in prize money
Casey was always in front advancing to 3-up after 7 holes but with the South Korean winning the next two holes with birdies.
The match continued to be in the balance when Casey won 14 with a birdie only for An to eagle 15 before Casey won 16 with a birdie and then lose 17 with a bogey.
However, a two-putt par at the last ensured Casey success.
“I feel happy to have won but I have to play a lot better and fortunately my driving and my putting bailed me out as I couldn’t hit a wedge 100 yards to save my life”, he said.
Casey now plays former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and with the winner, after Schwartzel also made it two wins for two matches, to advance to the last 16.