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AUSTIN, Texas – The Latest on the Dell Technologies Match Play (all times local):
Rory McIlroy faces a tough road if he wants to advance out of his group in the Dell Technologies Match Play.
Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark birdied his last four holes to beat McIlroy in a wild opening match at Austin Country Club. They halved only five of the 17 holes they played. Kjeldsen finished off the No. 2 player in the world with a tee shot into 2 feet on the par-3 17th.
It was the first time since 2013 that McIlroy lost in the opening round. The good news? It's not single elimination like it was in 2013, and McIlroy still has two more matches to try to win his group.
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.