AUSTIN, Texas – When his match finally ended, Jordan Spieth’s play on the 13th hole at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t matter, but it was a fitting example of how difficult the conditions were on Day 2.
Spieth stepped to the tee at the short par-4 13th with a 3-up lead over Yuta Ikeda and facing a foreboding gale, but he chose to hit driver.
“What was not smart about it was that the fairway is pretty narrow with driver when I can’t carry it to the edge; 3-wood is actually a much better play,” said Spieth, who pulled his tee shot into a water hazard.
“With the conditions that we had and that pin position, we had 4-iron, gap wedge and two-putt. It is that easy to do that. Normally you say it’s not that easy. It’s easy to hit 4-iron and gap wedge into the green and get it in in two.”
Fortunately for Spieth, Ikeda made a similar miscue and both players struggled to halve the hole with double bogey-6s. Spieth was steadier the rest of the way and won his match, 4 and 2, to keep his Match Play hopes alive.
Spieth will need to win his Friday match against Ryan Moore and have Hideto Tanihara lose his match against Ikeda to advance to the Round of 16.