Gary Woodland withdrew from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play due to a family matter and in doing so, he sealed the fate of Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy lost in the first round to 62nd seed Soren Kjeldsen in the biggest upset of the first day at Austin Country Club. McIlroy had a 1-up lead with five to play, but Kjeldsen birdied four consecutive holes to close out the match on No. 17.
When Kjedson beat Emiliano Grillo 4-and-3 in round two, he was guaranteed to win the group. Woodland’s WD gave Kjedson Friday off and an automatic win and berth in Saturday morning’s Round of 16.
McIlory will play Grillo on Friday, but the outcome is anticlimactic as both players were officially eliminated when Kjedson beat Grillo.
The only suspense for McIlory fans on Friday is whether he will commit to play in next week’s Shell Houston Open. He has until 5 p.m. ET on Friday to officially announce if he will play at the Golf Club of Houston or take the week off leading into the Masters.