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Match recaps for Friday: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

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AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 25: Robert MacIntyre of Scotland lines up a putt on the 13th green in his match against Dustin Johnson of the United States during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 25, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 25: Robert MacIntyre of Scotland lines up a putt on the 13th green in his match against Dustin Johnson of the United States during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 25, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

    Tommy Fleetwood makes wild par save to win match at WGC-Dell Match Play

    Seventy-five percent of the field in the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play will go home after Friday’s play. The 16 men left standing will advance to knockout play Saturday and Sunday.

    RELATED:Live scoring, tee times, bracket | Recaps from Thursday | Scenarios: Who will advance on Friday?

    Curious how your favorite player can advance? Click here to see all the scenarios. And check back here throughout the day as we provide live recaps from the matches as they finish.


    GROUP 1

    KEVIN NA (1-2-1) def. DUSTIN JOHNSON (1-1-1), 1-up

    ROBERT MacINTYRE (1-0-2) tied ADAM LONG (1-1-1)

    OK, so Sergio Garcia would trump him minutes later with an ace to win a playoff over Lee Westwood, but MacIntyre pulled off one of the shots of the week, hitting a drive that rode the left side of the hole finished inside 3 feet at the 371-yard 18th, leading him to a tie that advanced him from his group. Long, in position to advance once Dustin Johnson lost in the match ahead, had led for nearly the entire match, going 1-up when he birdied the 15th hole from 5 feet. The two traded birdies at 16 and pars at 17 before MacIntyre stood up on the tee and hit one of the drives of his life. Once Long missed a 33-foot birdie putt at 18, he conceded MacIntyre’s eagle-2.

    MacIntyre said: “No matter what, just try and win the golf hole. I had probably one of the best and one of the luckiest golf shots I've hit in my life. I had a bit of bad luck here and there and managed to turn it around right at the end there, and it's one of them things, you've just got to keep fighting until the end, and it just shows anything can happen in this game.”


    GROUP 2

    JUSTIN THOMAS (1-2-0) def. LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN (0-3-0), 3 and 2

    Thomas, World No. 2, capped off a disappointing week by going out early on Friday and soundly beating the 2010 Open champion. Thomas finally found some form on the back nine, making three birdies and an eagle (13th hole, from 44 feet) starting at the par-3 11th, and he closed out the match on the 16th green. Thomas’ career record at the Dell Technologies Match Play: 8-10-1.

    MATT KUCHAR (3-0-0) def. KEVIN KISNER (2-1-0), 2 and 1

    Kuchar had led the whole way and was 3 up after 15 holes but in danger of only getting a half point. Kisner won the 16th hole with birdie before knocking his tee shot stiff on the par-3 17th. Kuchar’s tee shot came to rest 18 feet from the hole but he sank that putt to close out Kisner. This is the fifth Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club and Kuchar has now made the Round of 16 in four of them. He has a 13-4-4 record at Austin CC.


    GROUP 3

    SHANE LOWRY (1-2-0) def. SEBASTIAN MUÑOZ (0-3-0), 3 and 2

    Lowry birdied four of the first six holes and never trailed in a match of players who already had been eliminated, with no implications for the group. (Unbeaten Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer, the other two members of Group 3, are squaring off to see who advances.) Muñoz, who played well but lost a first-round match against Rahm, briefly cut the lead to 1-up but Lowry birdied 13 and pulled away from there.

    JON RAHM (2-0-1) tied RYAN PALMER (2-0-1)

    They’re the defending champions of the upcoming Zurich Classic of New Orleans but they were foes on Friday. Rahm and Palmer both won their first two matches, meaning the winner of this match would advance to the Round of 16. They needed extra holes to determine a winner after Palmer holed a 13-footer for birdie on 18 to salvage a tie. Rahm had a chance to win on 18 but he missed his 9-footer for birdie. No one held more than a 1-up lead in this match. Palmer took the lead back with a birdie at the drivable 13th. They both made double on 14 but Rahm responded with birdies at 15 and 16 to take the lead. Palmer made one last birdie to keep his chances alive, though.


    GROUP 4

    BILLY HORSCHEL (2-1-0) def. COLLIN MORIKAWA (0-2-1), 3 and 2

    In a mistake-free match with no bogeys by either player, Horschel pulled away with birdies on 10, 12, 13 and 16. He was 5 under through 16 holes to post his second match win and earn a place in a sudden-death playoff with Max Homa to advance out of group play. Morikawa, meanwhile, joined Justin Thomas among the early-exiting top-five seeds.

    MAX HOMA (2-1-0) def. J.T. POSTON (1-1-1), 3 and 2

    Poston took the lead with a birdie at the first hole, but Homa flipped the match and opened up a lead with birdies at 10 and 12. Poston couldn’t find any magic on the back nine, and his bogey at the par-5 16th ended the match. Although he had been the group leader, it was Homa who earned his second point and a place in a sudden-death playoff with Billy Horschel to advance out of the group.


    GROUP 5


    The 18th hole is only 371 yards, so there aren’t many pars that players would term “great.” But Fleetwood could claim one on Friday to hold off DeChambeau and advance to the weekend. He hit driver well left, inside a penalty area, managed to get enough club on his second to get his ball just beyond the green, pulled off a miracle flop shot and made the 5-footer for 4. DeChambeau nearly drove the green, pitched past the hole and missed his birdie chance from 12 feet. Fleetwood built a 4-up advantage through seven holes, but lost the eighth hole to par and dunked his tee shot into water at the 11th. DeChambeau birdied the 14th (2 down) and was gifted the 15th when Fleetwood made bogey from 130 yards out.

    Fleetwood said: “It wasn’t looking great. It turned really scrappy for a lot of the back nine. … He started coming back, and yeah, on the last, an unlikely par. Match Play is that funny all week. There are guys who have played better than me for three days who are going home, and I’m going through.”

    ANTOINE ROZNER (2-1-1) def. SI WOO KIM (0-2-1), 3 and 1

    Rozner, who took down Bryson DeChambeau on Day 1, was one of the week’s brightest surprises, but would fall just short of a playoff to advance when Tommy Fleetwood edged Bryson DeChambeau to finish with 2.5 points. Rozner played nicely down the stretch, going 2-up with birdies at 11 and 12. Needing to keep the pressure on at the par-3 17th, he hit his tee shot to 17 feet. Kim nearly chipped in from just off the green, but when his ball stopped on the lip, the hole was conceded.


    GROUP 6

    JASON DAY (1-2-0) def. ANDY SULLIVAN (0-1-2)

    It was a disappointing week for Day, a former champion of this event, but he walked away with his first match victory of the week on Friday. Day, a two-time champion at the Match Play, played some nice golf, working his way to a 3-up lead with birdies at the third, ninth and 10th holes. Day birdied the 10th hole to go 3-up, and though Sullivan would win the 13th and 14th holes, Day never would trail. A birdie at the 15th gave him a 2-up cushion.


    Both players had looks for birdie at the 18th hole, with Schauffele needing to win the hole to tie the match. Scheffler missed from 12 feet; Schauffele made from 9 feet. The tie left both players with two points and they headed to a playoff to decide the group champion. Scheffler, a Match Play rookie who played his college golf down the road at the University of Texas, ran off three birdies starting at the par-4 14th to flip the match from 1-down to 1-up. Both players made pars at 17 and Schauffele made the clutch putt he needed at 18 to force more holes. In the playoff, Scheffler knocked in a birdie putt on the second hole to advance. He will take on England’s Ian Poulter in Saturday’s Round of 16.

    Scheffler said: “The last two days I haven’t rolled it as good as I wanted to. Today, I felt I was hitting my putts a lot more solid. I made some really nice putts on 14 and 15 to get myself back in the match. Today was a hard-fought round of golf, and I’m just happy to come out on top.”


    GROUP 7

    JOAQUIN NIEMANN (1-0-2) def. PATRICK REED (1-1-1), 5 and 4

    Reed was in control of his group, but Niemann put a thumping on him. You like fast starts? Neimann was 5-up after five against Reed, making birdies at the second (2 feet), third (10 feet) and fifth (17 feet) holes. Reed made his first birdie at the seventh; by then, he was 4-down. He never did get closer than 3-down on the back nine. Niemann had two putts from 18 feet at the par-14th to put the match on ice. Said Nick Faldo of NBC/Golf Channel, “Captain America got his shield dented today.” Reed’s previous biggest loss in the Match Play came in 2018, when Alex Noren beat him, 5 and 3. Niemann earned a playoff spot against Bubba Watson to decide a group champion.

    Niemann said: “I played great today, and beat him on 14 was a great finish.”

    BUBBA WATSON (1-0-2) def. CHRISTIAAN BEZUIDENHOUT (0-2-1), 5 and 3

    Not long after Sergio Garcia made an ace to advance, Watson almost clinched his match with a hole-out of his own. His 121-yard approach to 15 lipped out and the match was over when he holed his 4-foot birdie putt. Bezuidenhout won just two holes the entire match – Nos. 2 and 12. Watson never trailed. He was 3-up after five holes and 4-up at the turn.


    GROUP 8

    LEE WESTWOOD (2-1-0) def. TYRRELL HATTON (0-2-1), 4 and 3

    Westwood birdied four holes in a seven-hole stretch on the front nines to build a 3-up cushion on Hatton, the top-ranked player in the group, who already had been eliminated. Hatton birdied the 10th to trim Westwood’s lead to 2-up, but Westwood answered with a birdie at 12 and a winning par at 13. From there, Hatton was done, and it was just a matter of how far the match would extend. Westwood sealed the victory with a birdie from 11 feet at the 15th.

    Westwood said: “I played really solidly. … You lose the first day, it's out of your hands, so you need results to go your way in the other matches, but the only way to get into this situation was by winning the second and third matches that I played, and I managed to do that. I played a lot better today than I did the first two days, and we'll just have to see.”

    MATT WALLACE (1-1-1) def. SERGIO GARCIA (2-1-0), 3 and 2

    Garcia took the early lead with a par on No. 1 but bogeyed the next hole. Wallace was 2-up after six holes but Garcia won the next two holes with a birdie and a par. They were all square at the turn but Wallace won No. 10 after knocking his 108-yard approach to 2 feet. He never trailed again. Garcia conceded the 13th hole after hitting two balls in the water and he lost No. 14 with a bogey.


    GROUP 9

    WEBB SIMPSON (1-1-1) tied PAUL CASEY (1-1-1)

    When neither of these two Ryder Cup veterans was able to make a birdie over the last two holes, their match ended in a deadlock, the two conceding each other par putts at the last. Simpson was 3-down with seven holes to play, but fought hard and leveled the match with a birdie at the 16th hole. He was conceded an eagle-3 at the 12th after a beautiful iron approach to 8 feet, and won the 13th with a par. Casey, a seasoned match-play competitor, seemed to have a great handle on the match into the early portion of the back nine. Casey had birdied the fourth, fifth and sixth to turn 1-down deficit to 2-up lead.

    MACKENZIE HUGHES (2-0-1) tied TALOR GOOCH (0-2-1)

    Gooch, a Match Play rookie waiting all week for something good to happen, birdied the last two holes to earn his first half-point. Hughes already was assured of moving on once he secured at least a match tie with his tap-in birdie at the 16th. How good was the week for Hughes? Gooch rolled in a 60-footer for birdie at 10, trying to make a move at 3-down, and Hughes stepped and answered from 22 feet. No blood. Gooch was 3-down through 11 but fought back and trailed by one hole after birdies at 12 and 14. Gooch hit it inside 2 feet at 17, and to 7 feet at 18.

    Hughes said: “I thought this was the hardest match I had to play, knowing this was the day we either moved or not. That was in the back of my mind all day. I got a good lead around the turn and I was just trying to run him out of holes. Talor played great on the back nine.”

    GROUP 10

    HIDEKI MATSUYAMA (1-2-0) def. PATRICK CANTLAY (2-1-0), 4 and 2

    Cantlay was one of the hottest players in the tournament but ran into an even hotter player in Matsuyama, who built an early lead with six front-nine birdies, tacked on two more on the back, and closed it out in style with a pitch-in for eagle from just under 100 feet at the 16th hole. The result sent Cantlay into a playoff with Brian Harman to see who would advance from the group.

    BRIAN HARMAN (2-1-0) def. CARLOS ORTIZ (1–2-0), 3 and 2

    Harman kept the pressure on Ortiz throughout the latter part of the match. The players were tied through eight holes, and Harman birdied the eighth and ninth to step in front. Ortiz had birdied the fourth and fifth holes, but could not get a birdie to go after that. He had some good looks, missing from 6 feet at Nos. 10 and 13. Harman, who birdied 15, closed things out with a par at the par-5 16th. With a 2-1-0 record, Harman earned a spot in a playoff against Patrick Cantlay.


    RORY McILROY (1-1-1) tied CAMERON SMITH (1-1-1)

    McIlroy, who won this event in 2015, won’t advance to the Round of 16 but at least he left on a high note. He chipped in for birdie on the final hole to salvage a tie with Smith. Smith won the first hole after holing a 17-foot birdie putt and he led until McIlroy tied the match on the par-5 16th. McIlroy hit his tee shot in the penalty area on the short, par-3 17th, however, to lose the hole and any chance of winning the match.

    IAN POULTER (3-0-0) def. LANTO GRIFFIN (0-3-0), 2 and 1

    Poulter, the 60 seed, continued his match play magic. He was 3 up at the turn but Griffin battled back with wins at Nos. 12 and 13. Poulter responded by hitting his 143-yard approach from a fairway bunker on No. 15 to 2 feet to win the hole and return to 2 up. Griffin won the par-5 16th before Poulter closed things out with a par on 17.


    GROUP 12

    TONY FINAU (1-1-1) def. JASON KOKRAK (1-2-0) 2-up

    Tony Finau handed Dylan Frittelli a trip to the final 16 by coming from behind to get his first win of the tournament against Jason Kokrak. Knowing he needed to win to have any chance of advancement, Kokrak found himself down early when the already eliminated Finau birdied the opening hole. Back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth holes wrestled the lead but Finau returned serve on the fifth and sixth to once again take an advantage. Kokrak rallied, winning three straight to turn 2-up and remained there through 11 holes before things turned pear-shaped. Finau won four straight holes from 12-15 and his halve on 16 ensured Kokrak’s fate and Frittelli’s path forward.

    WILL ZALATORIS (1-1-1) def. DYLAN FRITTELLI (2-1-0), 2-up

    With his destiny in his own hands Frittelli had a terrible start and while he fought back against Zalatoris, his path forward was secured by the match ahead prior to the conclusion of this contest. From that point, perhaps with his guard down, Zalatoris pounced. Frittelli bogeyed the first two holes to sit 2-down before his breakfast could digest. Needing only a tie to advance, the South African clawed back with wins on holes 12 and 14 to tie things up heading to the closing holes. But up ahead Tony Finau closed out Jason Kokrak and relieved any pressure. Zalatoris pounced and won the 16th and 18th holes to grab his first victory of the tournament.


    Frittelli on Wednesday about being the 64th and last seed: "If you had checked the betting odds, if those guys were doing their homework, I would figure they would put me in the top half, just having that sort of experience, hometown, sleeping in my own bed. I think that counts a lot. I'm not going to spout too much, but I definitely think it's a huge advantage that at least puts me in the top half of the field."

    GROUP 13

    VIKTOR HOVLAND (1-2-0) def. ABRAHAM ANCER (2-1-1), 1-up

    Hovland had little to play for outside of pride, but put on a great show on the back nine. He was 3-down after 10, then birdied the 11th, eagled the 12th, and birdied 15, 16 and 17. Needing birdie at 18 to earn a tie, Ancer didn’t give himself a very good look, and failed to convert from 33 feet. It was a shocking end to the match for Ancer, who needed only a tie to advance. Instead, he would face a playoff against Kevin Streelman to decide the winner of Group 13.

    KEVIN STREELMAN (2-1-0) def. BERND WIESBERGER (1-2-0), 1-up

    Streelman never trailed after winning Nos. 2 and 3 with pars. He returned to 2-up after holing a 9-footer for birdie on No. 10. Wiesberger tied the match with a birdie at 13 but Streelman answered with an 18-footer for birdie at 14. They halved the final four holes.

    Said Streelman: “I feel fortunate. When I made the turn and seeing Viktor (Hovland) was 3 down, I knew he'd have a tough hill to climb to win. I needed him to win for me to have a chance. … I still needed to focus and try and win the match. There's still FedExCup points at play, … and last year I missed the TOUR Championship by a couple points. So in the back of my mind I gave it my all on every shot I had out here, and it was fortunate. I had to have a few things go right for me, but kept my head down and made it happen.”


    GROUP 14

    DANIEL BERGER (2-1-1) def. HARRIS ENGLISH (1-2-1), 4 and 2

    Berger jumped out fast, making five consecutive 3s out of the gate (including birdies at the first three holes) to move out to a 4-up lead through six holes. English finally got one hole back with a par at the long par-3 seventh, and Berger matched his birdie at the ninth. Even with a bogey a the seventh, Berger would play his opening nine in 5-under. He added two more birdies on the back-nine par-5s.

    ERIK VAN ROOYEN (2-1-0) def. BRENDON TODD (1-2-0), 2 and 1


    GROUP 15

    MATT FITZPATRICK (2-1-0) def. MATTHEW WOLFF (1-1-1), 3 and 2

    Wolff took the early lead by holing out from 57 feet for a birdie on No. 2. Fitzpatrick tied the match with a par at No. 4 and won Nos. 8 and 9 to take a 2-up lead at the turn. Wolff won No. 10 with a birdie but that was his last win of the day. He bogeyed Nos. 11 and 13 to give Fitzpatrick those holes. Fitzpatrick, the former U.S. Amateur champion, had a 4-8-0 record at Austin Country Club entering this week and lost all three matches in the most recent WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.


    MARC LEISHMAN (1-1-1) tied RUSSELL HENLEY (1-1-1)

    The winner of this match would have earned a spot in a playoff with Victor Perez but both players missed birdie putts on 18 and Perez advanced. Henley missed a 9-footer on the final hole and Leishman, who’s made the Round of 16 twice in Austin, missed from 7 feet. They tied the final six holes of the match after a topsy-turvy front nine. Leishman won the first two holes of the match with birdies but he had to birdie No. 9 to be tied heading to the back nine. Henley took the lead with a 32-foot birdie putt on No. 10 but Leishman won No. 12 to tie the match, which is where they remained.

    VICTOR PEREZ (2-1-0) def. SUNGJAE IM (1-2-0), 2 and 1

    Perez never trailed. He hit his first three approach shots within 8 feet of the hole and converted all three birdies to go 3-up. Perez returned to 3-up with a 7-foot birdie putt on No. 10. Im battled back by holing a 30-foot eagle putt on 12 and making a birdie on the drivable 13th, but he wouldn’t win another hole. Perez won the 16th after knocking his 83-yard approach to 2 feet and tied the 17th to close out the match.

    Said Perez: “I got off to a great start, gave a few away, got back into it, gave a few away and got a little tight towards the end, but really happy with how I finished 16 and 17.”


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