AUSTIN GOES TO MOLIWOOD; world of sportALL THE LATEST ACTION Fleetwood rallies to win as Ryder Cup best pal Frankie makes it a double in Texas.
Byline: DALE RANKIN
TOMMY FLEETWOOD and Francesco Molinari put on a Moliwood blockbuster as the Ryder Cup pair pulled off match play magic in Austin.
Fleetwood was two down after six holes to South Korea's Byeong Hun An on day one of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
But the Englishman rallied to win 3&2 on a day Italian star Molinari thrashed Japan's Satoshi Kodaira 5&4. The duo - dubbed Moliwood after becoming the first European pair to win all four of their matches together in last September's Ryder Cup victory - are among the 64 players split into 16 groups of four.
Only the group winners reach the weekend's knockout stage and Fleetwood said: "I've lost the first day then won the group and I've won the first day and finished last in the group.
"But it's great to have a good first day because once you lose you are behind the game and have to catch up.
"I had a good break around eight and nine. He had a threeputt on eight and missed a chance on nine - it kind of flipped the game around."
Rory McIlroy, who won the title in 2015 but has failed to get out of his group in his last two appearances, was gifted the 11th when American Luke List found water off the tee.
The Northern Irishman went on to seal a 5&4 win with birdies on the 13th and 14th.
Tiger Woods won 3&1 after Aaron Wise three-putted the 17th but the 14-time Major winner said: "Neither one of us played that great.
"It was a pretty emotional match because we were up and down, up and down - there weren't a lot of holes halved and I was just hanging in there."
Scot Russell Knox faces a battle to reach the semi-finals and qualify for next month's Masters after suffering a 3&1 defeat to Bryson DeChambeau.
Ian Poulter looked set to suffer another defeat at the hands of Kevin Kisner after last year's 8&6 quarter-final humiliation only for the Englishman to birdie the last two to win two up.
Poulter said: "He probably realised I wasn't going to be as easy to roll over as last year.
"It was a good match and pivotal to birdie the 17th then get up and down on the last."
Henrik Stenson defeated Phil Mickelson 2&1 as the duo re-enacted their enthralling final-day Open tussle the Swede also won almost three years ago.
Justin Rose beat Emiliano Grillo 2&1 while Paul Casey, who defended his Valspar Championship title on Sunday, kept up his superb form with a 5&3 win over Abraham Ancer.
Jon Rahm routed Kim Si-woo 7&5 as fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia saw off Shane Lowry 4&2. Dustin Johnson beat Chez Reavie 4&3 as Jordan Spieth came from three down to finish all square with Billy Horschel.
GO YOUR OWN WAY Fleetwood comes from behind on day one in Austin
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Mar 28, 2019|
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