He was the first player in the 64-man field to reach the knockout stages.
The match was all square over the front nine before Watson started to find his range as the American claimed four consecutive holes to take control. But Schauffele was never headed as he won two of the next three holes. After he watched Harman make eagle from 18 feet, Watson matched that with a 9-foot putt. He looks as if he’s still riding the confidence from that Genesis Open victory last month.
“Obviously a couple of days extra at home that I wasn’t planning on”, McIlroy said in quotes reported by GolfWeek.
Mickelson still needs help on Friday to advance out of group play for the second straight year.
On the Challenge Tour, five-time European Tour victor Michael Hoey is six shots off the pace at halfway in the Barclays Kenya Open at Muthaiga Country Club in Nairobi.
Garcia got beat 3 and 1 by Kyle Stanley, which means the final seven matches will feature just one golfer (Thomas) ranked in the top 15 in the world.
European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter once again demonstrated his penchant for match play with his second win, defeating USA 26th seed Daniel Berger 2 & 1.
Justin Thomas of the United States is closing in on world No 1. Thomas had the easiest time, a 7-and-5 victory over Francesco Molinari. Thomas:”I just played really well again”.
Match 101: Cameron Smith (46) def. Tyrell Hatton (12), 2 and 1. He made the quarterfinal past year and has now gone one better. He birdied four of the next five holes to go 1 up.
No. 13 Alex Noren def.
The Australian needed the half point that he picked up to half the match against Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato, who was one-up on the 18 tee.
No. 13 Alex Noren vs. “It was rubbish”, said Poulter, who didn’t make a birdie.
Rory McIlroy is on the ropes in Match Play. Howell made it to the top 16 a year ago.
American Charles Howell rolled unbeaten to his group crown by downing Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira 2&1. He was fortunate to stick around into the back nine.
Zach Johnson earned a halve against Matt Kuchar, and it felt like a win.
“I’ll just chill out, rest up a little bit, recharge the batteries, get into the gym”. “That was kind of on my mind the last four or five holes there”. Kisner led that event through 54 holes. He ended up fourth in 2011.
Meanwhile, Ian Poulter won his second match and move into second place for most matches won (25) in the Match Play.
His elimination paves the way for Justin Thomas to reach No. 1 in the world if he can win the Match Play this week.
It’s only fitting Watson stands in his way. It marked the first time Thomas trailed in a match all week. “He made a few birdies and didn’t really make a mistake”.
Dustin Johnson also is in danger of not winning his group after losing in 17 holes to Bernd Wiesberger. Noren will meet Kisner in the semifinals.
Kisner crushed Englishman Ian Poulter 8 and 6, one of the most one-sided results the tournament’s history has seen. Poulter had no answers.