WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play recaps: Day 3

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play recaps: Day 3
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Friday is the final day of pool play at Austin Country Club as 16 players advance to single elimination. Click here for scoring and click here for overall pool play records. Here’s how Day 3 played out:

Group 1

(24) Hideki Matsuyama def. (1) Dustin Johnson, 4 and 2: Matsuyama eliminated the world No. 1 in a match that he never trailed in. Johnson did eagle the fifth hole after driving the green, but that was one of few highlights. Matsuyama eagled the par-5 12th and never looked back.

(40) Branden Grace def. (55) Chez Reavie, 2 and 1: This match started with match pars on each of the first five holes. No player won a hole until Grace went 1 up with a par on No. 8. He made just two birdies the rest of the way to top Reavie and end his pool play at a perfect 3-0.

Group winner: Branden Grace

Group 2

(2) Justin Rose def. (22) Gary Woodland, 1 up: Despite not driving it well, Rose was able to win No. 10 with par to take a 1-up lead and then hold on for the close win. Woodland did make five birdies, but failed to convert an 18-footer at the last that would’ve gotten him into the knockout stage.

(53) Emiliano Grillo def. (34) Eddie Pepperell, 4 and 3: Neither man could advance past Friday, so this was just for fun. At least for Grillo, who won the fourth hole and never looked back. Pepperell managed to win only one hole, the 12th, to lose handily.

Group winner: Justin Rose

Group 3

(27) Alex Noren def. (3) Brooks Koepka, 3 and 2: Noren led the entire way against the three-time major winner, leading 3 up through five and taking a 4-up advantage at the turn. While Koepka clawed back with birdies at Nos. 10 and 11, Noren shut the door, birdieing three of the final five holes to win.

(60) Tom Lewis def. (36) Haotong Li, 1 up: Despite trailing much of the day, Li had a chance to earn a halve and punch his ticket to Saturday. But he missed a 7-footer for birdie at the 18th hole and then watched as Lewis sunk his 3-footer to force Li into a playoff with Noren.

Playoff: Li wasted no time dispatching Noren, as he stuck his approach at No. 1 to 3 feet and made the birdie putt to advance.

Group winner: Haotong Li

Group 4

(4) Rory McIlroy def. (32) Matthew Fitzpatrick, 4 and 2: In a matchup of former Ryder Cup teammates and more recently two players who were in the final group Sunday at Bay Hill, McIlroy never trailed after birdieing the second hole. McIlroy built a 4-up lead by the turn and clinched the match and the group after Fitzpatrick drove his tee ball in the water at the par-5 16th hole and McIlroy was just off the green in two. McIlroy led for all but five of the 30 holes he played in pool play.

(47) Justin Harding def. (64) Luke List, 2 up: Harding gained some momentum after holing a 105-yard wedge shot for eagle at the ninth hole and led the rest of the way, even after List battled back with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17. But McIlroy’s win ended Harding’s hopes of advancing.

Group winner: Rory McIlroy

Group 5

(5) Justin Thomas vs. (31) Keegan Bradley, halve: Thomas led for much of the way, including holding a 3-up advantage through 13 holes, but bogeys at Nos. 14 and 17 let Bradley back in the match. Bradley’s made 11-footer for birdie at the last earned him a half-point, though it did neither player any good in terms of advancing.

(50) Lucas Bjerregaard def. (33) Matt Wallace, 1 up: The group’s lowest-ranked player was 2 down after nine holes, as Wallace birdie three of four to close the front nine. But Wallace made just one birdie on the back and Bjerregaard was able to just enough to win the match and clinch a spot in the knockout stage.

Group winner: Lucas Bjerregaard

Group 6

(17) Marc Leishman def. (6) Bryson DeChambeau, 5 and 4: The Big Aussie jumped on the Mad Scientist early in this contest, winning each of the first three holes. Leishman carded five birdies and was conceded a shot from the fairway on the short par-4 13th after DeChambeau drove two balls into the water. A hole later, Leishman wrapped up the win and a perfect 3-0 pool-play record.

(59) Russell Knox def. (39) Kiradech Aphibarnrat, 2 up: Neither player had much to play for after Leishman closed out his third point of the week, but Knox was able to earn a point before exiting. He won the first hole with birdie and after Barn Rat took control with a 2-up lead through five holes, Knox got it back to all square with a winning bogey at No. 12. From there, he birdied two of the final three holes to win.

Group winner: Marc Leishman

Group 7

(7) Francesco Molinari def. (21) Webb Simpson, 2 and 1: Molinari wrapped up a 3-0 performance in pool play, leading almost the whole match against Simpson. While Molinari won each of the first two holes, Simpson was able to square the match back up with birdie at the par-5 12th hole. That’s when Molinari narrowly avoided the water with his layup at the par-4 13th and followed with a 20-foot make for birdie to take the lead again for good.

(63) Satoshi Kodaira def. (45) Thorbjorn Olesen, 3 and 1: Kodaira turned in his best performance of the week, making six birdies, including being conceded a 5-footer on the par-3 17th hole. Olesen won just two holes.

Group winner: Francesco Molinari

Group 8

(23) Matt Kuchar vs. (8) Jon Rahm, halve: As Kuchar said afterward, “It was a helluva battle.” No player led by more than 1 up and the two combined to card 13 birdies. Most of the fireworks came late, as both players traded birdies at Nos. 14-16 before Rahm birdied the par-3 17th after stuffing his tee ball to 5 feet. But Kuchar drove the final green and earned the half-point with a two-putt birdie that also clinched his ticket to the weekend.

(43) J.B. Holmes def. (54) Si Woo Kim, 6 and 4: Early on, it looked like Kim, already eliminated, would put up a fight. He led 1 up after an opening birdie. But Holmes won three of the final four holes on the front, including the par-4 ninth with bogey, and then birdied three straight, including a conceded effort on No. 14, to end the match.

Group winner: Matt Kuchar

Group 9

(29) Rafa Cabrera Bello def. (9) Xander Schauffele, 1 up: After Schauffele led most of the way, he ran into trouble at the par-5 16th, hitting his second shot in the thick stuff and flubbing his third short into the bunker. He bogeyed the hole to lose his 1-up lead and Cabrera Bello later took advantage with a short birdie make on No. 18 to earn the win.

(35) Tyrrell Hatton def. (62) Lee Westwood, 3 and 1: Hatton never trailed after the second hole and later withstood an ace by Westwood at the par-3 11th to earn the win and advance. He was credited with six birdies on his card Friday.

Group winner: Tyrrell Hatton

Group 10

(10) Paul Casey def. (25) Cameron Smith, 4 and 3: Smith won the opening hole, but a concession at the next cost him the lead for good. Casey birdied five straight holes, beginning at No. 3, to take control. He added three more birdies on the back to clinch the match and the group.

(58) Abraham Ancer def. (42) Charles Howell III, 5 and 3: Howell would’ve forced a playoff with a win against Ancer, but Ancer had other plans. He never trailed after winning the first hole, led 5 up at the turn and totaled eight birdies on the day.

Group winner: Paul Casey

Group 11

(19) Louis Oosthuizen def. (11) Tommy Fleetwood, 4 and 3: Fleetwood played 15 holes in 3 under yet was dispatched by Oosthuizen thanks in large part to a strong front-nine close by the South African. Oosthuizen birdied the par-5 sixth from 15 feet before adding birdies at Nos. 7 and 8 to take a 1-up lead. He then went birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie to win each of the first four holes of the back nine.

(49) Byeong Hun An def. (41) Kyle Stanley, 6 and 5: An birdied seven of the 13 holes in this match as he quickly dispatched of Stanley and ended his week with his first point.

Group winner: Louis Oosthuizen

Group 12

(37) Henrik Stenson def. (52) Jim Furyk, 5 and 4: It was simple: the winner of this match moved on to the Round of 16. Furyk played well (no, really, he did). But Stenson was machine-like, hitting approach shot after approach shot to gimme range. Stenson was 4 up through seven holes and never gave his fellow 40-something a chance.

(20) Phil Mickelson def. (12) Jason Day, 2 up: Both men were eliminated – and winless – after the second day of play. In the end, it’s just Day who walked away 0-fer. Mickelson was 4 up through eight holes, only to see Day rally to get all square with three to play. Mickelson then birdied two of the final three holes to earn the victory.

Group winner: Henrik Stenson

Group 13

(61) Aaron Wise def. (44) Brandt Snedeker, 6 and 4: A Snedeker win and he was into the Round of 16, but Wise won the first hole and never trailed. Wise built a 3-up lead through 10 holes and then won the 12th, 13th and 14th holes to race to the finish line.

(13) Tiger Woods def. (18) Patrick Cantlay, 4 and 2: Woods had to win his match and have Snedeker, who defeated Tiger on Thursday, not do the same. Wise knocking of Snedeker took care of one part and then Tiger took care of his side of the deal. Woods was 2 down at one point, but won four consecutive holes, from Nos. 11-14, including a hole-out eagle at the 13th, to take command of the match.

Group winner: Tiger Woods

Group 14

(30) Ian Poulter def. (14) Tony Finau, 1 up: Mr. Match Play made six birdies in his match against Finau, but it was a par that won him the match. Finau pulled his tee shot badly at the drivable par-4 18th and made bogey. The win earned Poulter a spot in a playoff with Kisner for the chance to advance.

(48) Kevin Kisner def. (56) Keith Mitchell, 2 and 1: In a matchup of Georgia Bulldogs, Kisner, the reigning runner-up at Match Play, never trailed. A Mitchell bogey at the ninth hole gave Kisner a 1-up lead, which he never relinquished.

Playoff: Kisner drained a 10-footer on the third playoff hole to eliminate Poulter.

Group winner: Kevin Kisner

Group 15

(15) Bubba Watson def. (28) Jordan Spieth, 1 up: Spieth bogeyed his first four holes to dig himself a 4-down hole. He didn’t make a par until the seventh hole, either, but did battle back to 1 down with a par at the par-4 13th. He just couldn’t get closer than that as Watson matched him every step of the way, including at the 18th, where both made birdies.

(57) Kevin Na def. (38) Billy Horschel, 3 and 1: Na said he took five Advils to curb his neck pain and played a “fantastic” round of golf. He made four birdies in his first six holes as he led early, and then won Nos. 15-17 to punch his ticket to the weekend.

Group winner: Kevin Na

Group 16

(16) Patrick Reed def. (26) Sergio Garcia, 2 and 1: The front nine was all Garcia, who carded three birdies and led, 2 up, at the turn. But someone apparently brought Captain America his shield on the back nine. Reed made five birdies on the back, including a 6-footer on the par-3 17th, to seal the match. Garcia, however, has the last laugh as he still advanced with two points.

(46) Shane Lowry def. (51) Andrew Putnam, 3 and 2: Lowry got off to a slow start, but hung in there until catching fire with his approach play on the back nine. Lowry gave himself three looks at birdie from inside of 9 feet on the back side and converted all of them en route to ending the match with an up-and-down birdie on the 16th hole.

Group winner: Sergio Garcia

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play recaps: Day 3

Source: Internet

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