• Stephen Gallacher, however, loses 7&6 to Hunter Mahan
• World top two McIlroy and Spieth off to winning starts
MARC WARREN | WGC-CADILLAC MATCH PLAY
Marc Warren got off to a winning start at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play with a 2&1 victory over J.B. Holmes, despite only making one birdie throughout his round.
The 34-year-old recorded pars on the first four holes but that was enough to put him 3UP as Holmes – winner of the Shell Houston Open four weeks ago – made a faltering start which he managed to recover from slightly with birdies at eight and nine.
The match was AS for the first time after the 15th as Holmes birdied the par-4, but Marc Warren responded with his first birdie of the day on the 16th, and a bogey at the 17th was enough to see the Scot home in a scrappy affair.
"It's fair to say neither of us were at our best today" - Marc Warren
“I think it's fair to say neither of us were at our best today,” said Marc Warren. “Both of us weren't great off the tee, but fortunately maybe I was just a little bit tighter around the greens.”
It was a different story for fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher who went down to a crushing 7&6 defeat to 2012 champion Hunter Mahan.
Mahan took the initiative with the birdie on the first and was 5UP by the turn after birdies at the sixth and ninth, while Gallacher bogeyed the fourth and eighth.
The match was over at the 12th as Mahan recorded two more birdies and afterwards, he said: “It was a combo of I played well and he didn’t have his best stuff.”
World No.1 Rory McIlroy started with a resounding 5&4 victory over Jason Dufner. Both players birdied the first hole – the only two of their rounds – and Dufner bogeyed five further holes with consecutive pars from McIlroy enough to end their match after the 14th.
He said: “It's good to win that first match and the mindset going into tomorrow, is you have to win, you have to win every match. No point in thinking you can't win matches and progress here.”
Elsewhere, Masters champion Jordan Spieth started with a win over Mikko Ilonen, but there were unlikely defeats for defending champion Jason Day (4&3 against Charley Hoffman), Adam Scott (5&4 against Francesco Molinari), Henrik Stenson (19 holes against John Senden) and Justin Rose (3&2 against Marc Leishman).
In today’s matches, Warren faces Brooks Koepka at 10.20am local time (6.20pm UK time), while Gallacher faces Matt Kuchar at 1.30pm local time (9.30pm UK time).
Marc Warren at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play :: Your thoughts
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