McIlroy, Spieth facing elimination at Match Play

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth face what could amount to elimination day at the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Both lost their opening matches at Austin Country Club. Even with two rounds remaining in group play, neither can afford to lose if he wants a chance at advancing into the weekend of single elimination.

McIlroy is the No. 2 seed who won in 2015 and reached the semifinals last year. Spieth is the No. 5 seed. He played poorly in a 4-and-2 loss to Hideto Tanihara, and on Thursday faced another Japanese player in Yuta Ikeda.

McIlroy played Gary Woodland, whom he beat in the championship match at Harding Park two years ago.

A year ago, only one player who lost his opening match advanced out of his group.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.