WGC Match Play: Sergio Garcia comes up aces over Lee Westwood on a frenetic Friday at Austin Nation Membership

WGC Match Play: Sergio Garcia comes up aces over Lee Westwood on a frenetic Friday at Austin Nation Membership

When it lastly ended, Jon Rahm at No 3 was the one participant from the highest 20 seeds who made it to the knockout stage of the weekend at Austin Nation Membership.

WGC Match Play: Sergio Garcia comes up aces over Lee Westwood on a frenetic Friday at Austin Country Club

Sergio Garcia beat Lee Westwood in a playoff to progress to the knockouts at WGC Match Play. AP

Austin, Texas: Needing to win the ultimate gap to advance, Bob MacIntrye drilled a driver to three ft of the cup on the 371-yard 18th gap. Moments later, Sergio Garcia ended one of many report eight sudden-death playoffs with a hole-in-one.

Already probably the most fickle occasion in golf, the Dell Applied sciences Match Play on Friday was an limitless frenzy.

Kevin Na lectured Dustin Johnson about not ready for a putt to be conceded — 6 inches — after which birdied the final two holes to oust the No 1 participant on the planet. Patrick Cantlay, virtually flawless with 14 birdies and an eagle over two days, managed solely two birdies and misplaced a playoff with a three-putt.

When it lastly ended, Jon Rahm at No 3 was the one participant from the highest 20 seeds who made it to the knockout stage of the weekend at Austin Nation Membership.

“You simply by no means know what can occur on the market,” Billy Horschel stated after beating Max Homa on the third playoff gap.
Nearly every thing did.

Garcia beat Lee Westwood within the longest of the eight playoffs with a 9-iron from 161 yards to a entrance pin on the par-3 fourth gap that landed simply past the pin and trickled again into the cup.

“Properly, 28 years on tour and I assumed I had seen every thing. I hadn’t!” Westwood posted on Twitter.

Equally gorgeous was the drive of MacIntyre, the 24-year-old from Scotland with loads of spunk and a great deal of battle. He was 1 down in opposition to Adam Lengthy, who was poised to advance with Johnson within the group forward about to lose to Na.

Johnson backed away from his 6-foot par putt — Na solely had 4 ft for birdie — and his caddie, brother Austin, stepped in a couple of ft from the cup to assist learn the putt. Out of nowhere, a ball shot up the left aspect of the financial institution across the inexperienced and rolled in entrance of the caddie’s ft.

Dustin needed to mark MacIntyre’s ball so he might putt. MacIntyre was oblivious to what occurred besides he knew he hit the shot of his life.

“Most likely the most effective and one of many luckiest golf pictures I’ve hit in my life,” MacIntyre stated. “You’ve got simply acquired to maintain combating till the top, and it simply reveals something can occur on this sport.”

His solely likelihood was a low bullet, and it caught the downward slope for additional run towards the left aspect of the inexperienced, which MacIntyre could not see. He heard it was on the inexperienced.

“I did not have a clue how shut,” MacIntyre stated. I am considering it may be simply on the inexperienced beneath the slope. Going to have hopefully two putts perhaps to win the opening. However once I seen the place they put the ball again down I used to be like, ‘No means!’

“And that is what you play the sport for, these moments.”

Given how three days of group play has gone, no telling what to anticipate on the win-or-go-home weekend. It is going to embody a trio of Texas Longhorns, together with Jordan Spieth for the primary time since 2016. He gained three straight holes across the flip and, not like Thursday when he let Matthew Wolff off the hook, Spieth managed to shut out Corey Conners.

Scottie Scheffler halved his match when Xander Schauffele made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final gap, after which Scheffler returned the favour with a 12-foot birdie on the second additional gap. The opposite Longhorn is Dylan Frittelli of South Africa, who turned the primary No 64 seed in Match Play historical past to make it to the weekend.

Frittelli had firm.

Two different gamers seeded at No 60 or decrease made it to the knockout stage. Ian Poulter gained his third straight match because the No. 60 seed, whereas Erik van Rooyen (62) superior by beating Daniel Berger with a par on the second playoff gap.

Poulter and Matt Kuchar are the one gamers to have gained all three matches. Kuchar knocked out defending champion Kevin Kisner with a 20-foot birdie putt on the seventeenth gap.

The 64-man subject based mostly on the world rating was divided into teams of 16 based mostly, with the ultimate 16 assigned to the “D” group. Eight of these gamers are nonetheless within the sport. Rahm was the one participant from the “A” group of high 16 seeds.

Brian Harman felt a small measure of redemption. He shot the equal of a 64 within the opening spherical and nonetheless misplaced to Cantlay, who had seven birdies and an eagle. However when Cantlay fell flat and misplaced to Hideki Matsuyama, that despatched Cantlay and Harman again out for a sudden-death playoff that Harman gained when Cantlay’s 4-foot par putt lipped out.

Garcia was amazed by his ace, however he was fast to level out that he needed to make a 10-footer and an 8-footer for par on the earlier two holes simply to remain within the match in the course of the playoff.

The eight playoffs to resolve group winners broke the earlier mark of 5 in 2017 since group play started six yeas in the past.

“The 2 putts I made … huge to maintain myself going,” Garcia stated. “After which clearly the shot on 4, it is an awesome shot, however then you definitely get fortunate that to start with it does not hit the flag as a result of it will need to have been very near hitting the flag, after which it rolls again in. Clearly, very glad about that.”

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