WGC Match Play: Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods make a winning start

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Poulter played reconciliation for an 8 & 6 defeat against Kisner last year

Englishman Ian Poulter birdied the last two holes for the win over Kevin Kisner on the opening day of the WGC Match Play in Austin, Texas.

The 43-year old-old world number 32 lost the previous two holes to a birdie and an eagle, but defeated the American two.

There were comfortable victories for Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Tiger Woods.

The 64 players are divided into 16 groups of four, with a round-robin format for the first three days.

The 16 group winners then proceed to the knockout phase on Saturday, when the 15-minute Finals are also played, with the semi-final, final and third place match on Sunday.

McIlroy lost no hole against Luke List, sealed a 5 & 4 victory with his fourth birdie of the

Casey, who successfully defended his La Valspar Championship title over the weekend and rose to eleventh place in the world ranking, was one after five holes against Mexico Ancer before beating to a 5 & 3 win, while triple Match Play winner Woods recovered from one down against Aaron Wise and registered a 3 & 1 win.

Fleetwood was two down after seven against the Byeong Hun An from Korea, but won 3 & 2, while Matt Wallace abandoned former PGA champion Keegan Bradley.

Matthew Fitzpatrick lost the last two holes with bogeys for a defeat to South African Justin Harding and Lee Westwood lost from a final hole birdie of world number nine Xander Schauffele.

Defending champion Bubba Watson started with a defeat and lost the last hole to fellow countryman Kevin Na after two bunker shots of a greenside fall remained in the sand.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, a Texan resident, fought back from three down after six holes and all ended up square with Billy Horschel and recently won ha birdie.

But world number five Justin Thomas, after being two out of three, lost 3 & 2 to Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard and made his debut in the event.

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