SPORTS

Match Play begins with unlimited possibilities

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the on the 15th hole during a practice round for the Dell Match Play Championship golf tournament at Austin County Club, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the on the 15th hole during a practice round for the Dell Match Play Championship golf tournament at Austin County Club, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)  (The Associated Press)

Rory McIlroy was no different from the other 63 players at the Dell Technologies Match Play. He wasn't sure how long he would be staying.

Match Play began Wednesday at Austin Country Club with 32 matches a day for the opening three rounds of group play. McIlroy drove right into the tree and wound up losing the opening hole of his match against Soren Kjeldsen.

Jason Day is the defending champion, though McIlroy has been tough in this format. His record is 11-2-1 over the last two years, with one of those losses in a meaningless consolation match a year ago.

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 seed, plays in the afternoon.

The top player from each of the 16 four-man groups advances to the weekend of single-elimination matches.