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Sobel’s Favorite WGC-Match Play Matchup Bets: Fade Favorites on Day 2?

Sobel’s Favorite WGC-Match Play Matchup Bets: Fade Favorites on Day 2?

Justin Rose sympathised with opponent Eddie Pepperell after snatching an unlikely half from the jaws of defeat to maintain control of his own destiny on day two of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

The 14-time major champion opened solidly but unspectacularly with a 3&1 victory over United States 61st seed Aaron Wise, leaving 13th seed Woods atop his all-American group after Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Cantlay halved.

Up next for Woods is close friend Brandt Snedeker, who halved his Thursday match with Patrick Cantlay.

Fresh off an fantastic left-handed shot on a ball that was under a bush during Thursday's action, Tiger continued the theatrics on Friday afternoon by sinking an 82-yard wedge shot on the par-4 13th for an eagle 2.

On the next hole, Woods won his fourth consecutive by curling in 19-foot putt to go 3-up with four to play. Day lost his opening match Thursday to Jim Furyk.

McIlroy is the No. 4 seed and Woods is No. 13 in the 64-player field.

It started with an unfortunate lie after Woods' tee shot nestled in a divot in the fairway.

The pair have never played competitive match play against each other although they have had practice rounds in Florida over the years.

"It wasn't exactly the best golf out there from both of us", said Woods, who made four birdies and four bogeys through the 17 holes. I feel good about my game.

"It's going to be fun to play against him", Woods said.

Woods, back in the Match Play for the first time since 2013, has never been part of this round-robin format.

In the four previous years of the pool play format, advancing after a first-day loss has proven hard.

No. 5 seed Justin Thomas was a 3 and 2 loser to Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard (No. 50), No. 9 Xander Schauffele escaped No. 62 Lee Westwood 1-up, No. 52 Jim Furyk came from behind to upset Australia's Jason Day (No. 12) 2-up and defending champ Bubba Watson lost to No. 57 Kevin Na in a freaky turn of events.

"Just got hot right when I needed it", Woods said. Snedeker had to make his putt to keep the match from being tied, which he did.

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.

Thanks to his victory on Friday over Patrick Cantlay, which assured him a spot in the knockout stages this weekend, he now can count on four rounds and maybe more.

Former champion Jason Day has been eliminated from Match Play after his second-round loss to Henrik Stenson.

Woods had rallied from being 2-down through eight holes to eventually win the match 4 and 2. Spain's Jon Rahm, the No. 2 seed, was even more convincing in his 7 and 5 win over South Korea's Si Woo Kim (54).

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