Soren Kjeldsen of Norway continues to surprise in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after two rounds of Group Play in 40 mph wind at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas.
The 41-year-old Kjeldsen, seeded 62nd in the 64-player field, defeated No. 26 Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, 4 and 3, and advanced to the Round of 16 on Saturday morning when No. 33 Gary Woodland withdrew because of family issues.
“Very pleased (to advance),” said Kjeldsen, who upset second-seeded Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in the first round. “Actually, not happy about Gary and what’s going on with Gary. I don’t know all the details, but Gary is one of the nicest guys out here. So we wish him all the best.”
Kjeldsen lost the first two holes to Grillo, but won the next two and took charge by claiming four in a row around the turn. He gets Friday off and moves to 3-0 without hitting a shot because Woodland went home.
McIlroy won by forfeit over Woodland, but the No. 2-seeded player also will be packing after his Friday match against Grillo.
Top-seeded Dustin Johnson, who has won his last two events, continued to roll with a 3-and-2 victory over Martin Kaymer of Germany and will advance with a win or halve against PGA champion No. 18 Jimmy Walker on Friday.
“Yeah, it was windy, very gusty at times,” said DJ, the top-ranked player in the world. “The wind even was affecting your putts. You weren’t really hitting full shots. …
Played very tough out here today. Tee shots, approach shots, putts, chips, it wasn’t very easy, that’s for sure.”
Also among those moving to 2-0 were No. 8 Alex Noren of Sweden, who defeated Bernd No. 36 Wiesberger of Austria, 3 and 2; No. 10 Tyrrell Hatton of England, who got past Jeunghun Wang of South Korea, 2 up; No. 12 Paul Casey of England, who edged No. 45 Byeong Hun An of South Korea, 1 up; No. 13 Bubba Watson, who downed No. 39 Scott Piercy, 4 and 3, and No. 14 Phil Mickelson, who trounced No. 35 Daniel Berger, 5 and 4.
Others at 2-0 are No. 20 Brooks Koepka, who routed No. 59 Jason Dufner, 6 and 5; No. 21 Jon Rahm of Spain, who tripped No. 53; Shane Lowry of Ireland, 2 and 1; No. 24 Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who trimmed No. 60 Joost Luiten of the Netherlands, 4 and 2; No. 46 Kevin Na, who eliminated No. 6 Justin Thomas, 4 and 2; No. 48 William McGirt, who got past No. 15 Branden Grace of South Africa, 2 and 1; No. 56 Pat Perez, who downed No. 28 Marc Leishman of Australia, 2 and 1, and No. 64 K.T. Kim of South Korea, who defeated No. 17 Russell Knox of Scotland, 2 and 1.
No. 5 Jordan Spieth, upset by Hideto Tanihara of Japan in round one, stayed alive with a 4-and-2 victory over Yuta Ikeda, also of Japan.
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