ory McIlroy kept his WGC Dell Technologies Match Play hopes alive with a 4&3 victory over America’s Lanto Griffin on Thursday.
McIlroy, who won the tournament in 2015, was hammered 6&5 in his group stage opener on Wednesday by regular Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter.
The Northern Irishman still faces an uphill task to reach the weekend’s knockout stages, with only the winners of each of the 16 groups progressing.
“It was big,” McIlroy said. “Obviously winning the match keeps me in the tournament but I didn’t play that badly yesterday. I hit a couple of destructive shots but Poults played very well and deserved to win the match.
“The scoreline didn’t match up with how I felt I played and same thing today, Lanto didn’t play his best stuff and just happy to be in with a hope.
“It’s a very difficult game at times and I feel it’s testing me more than it has in the last few years and I feel the only way to get through it is put your head down and work on the right things. I feel like I’m on the right path.”