Harding takes down Fitzpatrick in Austin

Justin Harding wins round 1 of his first career match play against Matthew Fitzpatrick and will face off against Rory McIlroy in his next match.

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Justin Harding wins rd 1 of Match Play at WGC-Dell Technologies

March 28, 2019: South Africa’s Justin Harding, a two-time Asian Tour winner took down 2013 U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick of England 1-up in his first career match play at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play on Thursday.

Harding was 2-down with three holes to play but won the last three holes against the Englishman.

“I definitely feel as though I stole it. I, like Matty, didn’t really get too much going. I battled with the club selection pretty much the entire day. I hung in there, missed a couple of putts I probably would otherwise like to have not missed. But I guess the up-and-down on 17 was quite special,” said Harding.

The South African will face off against Rory McIlroy in his next match and is ready to put up a stern challenge against the world number four.

”I think I’m going to have to improve a little bit to take him on. Rory’s been playing great over the last couple of weeks. It will be a nice opportunity for me to see how it’s done inside the ropes, and maybe learn a little bit as well, and give the boy a little bit of a challenge,” said Harding.

Big-hitting Kiradech, who qualified for the quarterfinals here last year before bowing out to eventual winner Bubba Watson, meanwhile fought hard in his opening Group 6 match against four-time PGA TOUR winner Marc Leishman before losing 2-up on the 18th hole.

The Thai star kept the match close with some good play but his putting let him down as he made just three birdies during his match.

“I fought hard but didn’t make too many putts. I had some chances but the putts didn’t want to go in. It was good that I kept fighting until the 18th hole and Marc then just hit a great shot into 18 to make birdie for the win. I’ve got no choice now but to try and win my match against Bryson (DeChambeau) tomorrow. He is a great player but I will give it my best,” said Kiradech, the first Thai to play on the PGA TOUR.

As one in a series of four World Golf Championships events sanctioned and organised by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is one of the most exciting and biggest events on golf’s calendar.

Source: Asian Tour