In that category, Paul Casey’s was a story of woe. The Englishman – with a noted matchplay record – was forced to concede his match to Canadian Corey Conners after only two holes when Casey’s back went into spasm and he was unable to continue.
“The team in the physio truck said my glutes were switched off and my back spasmed because of it. I couldn’t even get a tee in the ground when I conceded the match,” said Casey.
“I think I just don’t ever give up, I just, I hate losing,” said Horschel of his mindset, adding: “ I mean I honestly hate to lose. I hate not performing to the level that I want. So it fires me up to play better and I just, I don’t give a shot away, I try not to. I battle until the end. And I’ve got a secret weapon in a putter that I make a lot of putts inside 10 feet which saves me a lot of times.metasports
Shane Lowry trailed Harold Varner III by four holes through 11 but kept the match going with birdies on the two par-fives on the back nine before the American sealed the deal on the 17th with a birdie two for a 2up victory
Ultimately, Power’s shot execution was exemplary, his tee shot safely finding the putting green and, given Im’s travails, there would be no need to even putt as the Waterford man went two-up to kickstart a hot streak that also saw him win the 12th, 13th and 14th – all in birdies – to close out the match and claim a brilliant 5 and 4 win over the South Korean.
“It’s nice to get a point on the board. It’s my first time playing here, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but one for one, so it’s a good start,” said Power.
It was an important win for Power, not only in notching up a winning point in Group 4, with the winner of the round-robin progressing onwards in the quest for the near €2 million payday and a WGC title, but also in advancing his prospects of that maiden visit to Augusta National. A first or second place finish in his group would garner sufficient world ranking points to achieve that aim.