AUSTIN, Texas – We ended up with the Rory McIlroy-Scottie Scheffler bout everyone wanted. However, it’ll be in the wrong match.
The two highest-ranked players remaining in the field at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play will face off in Sunday’s consolation match while Sam Burns and Cameron Young will play in the championship match following overtime semifinal victories.
Young rallied from 2 down with three to play against McIlroy and birdied the 19th hole to advance. Burns mounted his own comeback after being 2 down through 12 holes and birdied the third extra hole to defeat the defending champion and world No. 1 in 21 holes.
Matches and scoring from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship
“I struggled midway through the round. But just was able to battle back and kept myself in it and, you know, at the end of the day it came down to making putts,” Burns said.
It was the second time Burns had beaten Scheffler head-to-head, following his victory at last year’s Charles Schwab Challenge when they finished 72 holes tied and Burns birdied the first playoff hole.
Scheffler had a 6-footer on the 20th hole at Austin Country Club to win the match but missed.
McIlroy had been dominant playing the par-4 18th this week, having won the hole three times to close out matches, including a walk-off eagle on Thursday after hitting his drive to 4 feet. But on Sunday, leading 1 up, his drive took an unfortunate kick and settled into deep rough, from where he pitched to 40 feet and two-putted for par. In his previous three trips down the 18th hole, he was a combined 4 under par.
“I just didn't do enough over those last four holes to close him out and when you don't do that and you're up against a player of Cam's caliber that's what's going to happen,” McIlroy said.
Young, who is seeking his first Tour win, birdied the 18th and then made birdie on the 19th hole, the par-5 12th, where McIlroy again settled for par.