A brilliant eagle helped Tiger Woods roar back from an early deficit to set up an eagerly-anticipated showdown with Rory McIlroy in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Coming off a win at The Players Championship, McIlroy crushed Luke List 5 and 4 in his opening match in Group 4 at the Austin Country Club on Wednesday.
Woods, who is making his final start before the Masters. entered the day needing to beat Cantlay and have Aaron Wise beat Brandt Snedeker to advance to the knockout round portion of this tournament. "I just have to beat the guy standing in front of me".
Woods, who went 2-1 in his group, needed Wise to defeat Snedeker in order to advance; had they tied, Woods would have gone to a sudden-death playoff with Snedeker. Oosthuizen was runner-up in this event in 2016 and won his group previous year before settling for a ninth place finish.
McIlroy has won both of his matches so far and said being able to answer his opponents' challenges was vital.
Rory McIlroy had an easier time as the Players Championship victor continued his hot form to rout American Luke List 5 & 4. Snedeker seized control with a 10-foot birdie on the 16th, and closed him out on the next hole.
"I'm thankful for the format because I'd be going home yesterday".
And that's what they'll get.
"I was up, the next thing I'm down in the match". "I feel pretty consistent and pretty solid throughout my game". "It plays tough. The greens are tricky".
"At times I hit some loose shots, but I somehow got away with a lot of them".
Meanwhile, Justin Rose delivered the best comeback.
"I was fairly steady".
"It's good to finally get one against him".
"Neither one of us really played that great", Woods told Sky Sports. "We're trying to manage the energy level as well. But we're still here for a couple more days". Form and confidence are fine. I feel good about my game.
Also on his game was English 30th seed match-play wizard Ian Poulter, the 2010 champion who beat United States 48th seed Kevin Kisner 2-up to avenge his ouster from past year.
"That could certainly serve me well not only to the rest of this tournament but as we [go] in the next few weeks". Woods has had the better score 12 times and tied Snedeker once. "Today was really important to come out strong and do whatever you need to do".
Former champion Jason Day has been eliminated from Match Play after his second-round loss to Henrik Stenson.
In other first round action, Kevin Na edged defending champion Bubba Watson, world number one Dustin Johnson crushed Chez Reavie and reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed fell to Andrew Putnam.