Kiradech enjoys winning start at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Wed 21 Mar 2018

Kiradech enjoys winning start at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play


Austin, United States, March 21: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat continued his hot match play streak as he defeated Chez Reavie of the United States 3&2 in the first round of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event on Wednesday.

Kiradech, the champion at this year’s ISPS HANDA Super 6 Perth that featured a six-hole match play elimination format, won comfortably in a match that he never trailed. He made his fourth birdie of the match at the 16th hole of the Austin Country Club while Reavie only managed a par, putting the result beyond doubt. The 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion won the Paul Lawrie Match Play event in 2015.

“In match play, all you have to do is play better than your competitor. I was able to keep myself in a better position. I was never behind all day. Whether it is all square, 1-up, all square, 1-up, 2-up, or whatever, I will just keep myself in a good position and put a lot of pressure on my opponent,” said Kiradech.

Shubhankar Sharma of India

Shubhankar Sharma put 2017 Masters Tournament and this year's SMBC Singapore Open champion Sergio Garcia to the sword, but the rising Indian star eventually lost 1-down. The rising Indian star fought back from being 2-down early in the match to lead 1-up at the turn. However, the Spaniard turned on the afterburners, as he birdied five out of last eight holes to win the match narrowly. It was Sharma's maiden appearance at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. 

Yuta Ikeda of Japan caused a minor upset as he beat Ross Fisher of England 2&1. Ikeda, who represented Team Asia at this year’s EurAsia Cup, recovered from being 2-down through five holes with a steady performance on the back nine. Ikeda is seeded 47th in the tournament, while Fisher is seeded 27th.

The 64-player WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play field is divided into 16 four-player groups. Each group will play round-robin matches within their group on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Kiradech, Sharma and Ikeda will be up against Keegan Bradley, Xander Schauffele and Matt Kuchar respectively in round two of the event.