Day bombs out of WGC-Match Play

·2-min read

Two-time champion Jason Day has bombed out of contention in the World Golf Championships Match Play after opening with consecutive losses.

Fellow Australians Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman retain title hopes with 1-1 records after the second day of the round-robin stage at Austin Country Club in Texas on Thursday.

But Day has no chance to repeat his 2014 and 2016 titles, after losing 2 and 1 to sixth seed Xander Schauffele a day after going down to Scottie Scheffler in his opener.

With just one of the four players in each of the 16 groups to advance to the 16-player knockout stage, there's a lot riding on Friday's final round robin matches.

Smith faces a daunting assignment against Rory McIlroy and needs a lot to go his way after falling to unbeaten English veteran Ian Poulter, who sunk a 15-foot putt on the 18th to triumph 1-up.

Leishman's group could hardly be more competitive with all four players on 1-1 records.

Leishman faces Russell Henley after keeping his prospects alive with a 2 and 1 victory over Sungjae Im, having won the 15th and 16th holes.

World No.2 Justin Thomas came into the event on the back of winning the Players Championship but crashed out of contention, losing 3 and 2 to Matt Kuchar on day one and 2 and1 to defending champion Kevin Kisner on Thursday.

Kuchar's narrow victory over former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen means group two will be settled by Friday's match between Kuchar and Kisner, a repeat of the 2019 final won by the latter.

Top seed Dustin Johnson brilliantly avoided a shock defeat to Scotland's Robert MacIntyre.

ohnson was two down with two to playbut the world No.1 and Masters champion made an eagle on the par-5 16th and birdied the 17th to leave both players with one and a half points from two matches in group one.

"He holed putts when he had to hole putts," a disappointed MacIntyre said.

"He does that to win numerous majors. I'm young. I've got plenty of time ahead of me."