2021 WGC-Dell Match Play scores, results: Sergio Garcia recovers, Dustin Johnson eliminated

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Needing to win the last hole to advance, Bob MacIntrye drilled a driver 3 feet from the cup on the 371-yard 18th hole. Moments later, Sergio Garcia finished one of eight sudden death record playoffs with a hole in one.

Already the most fickle event in golf, Friday’s Dell Technologies Match Play was an endless frenzy.

Kevin Na lectured Dustin Johnson about not waiting for a putt (6 inches) to be awarded and then birdied the final two holes to eliminate the world’s number one player. Patrick Cantlay, practically flawless with 14 birdies and an eagle in two days, had just two birdies and lost a playoff with a three putt.

When he finally finished, Jon Rahm at No. 3 was the only player in the top 20 seeds to make it to the knockout stage at the weekend at Austin Country Club.

“You never know what can happen there,” Billy Horschel said after beating Max Homa on the third hole of the playoffs.

Almost everything did.

Garcia beat Lee Westwood in the longest of the eight playoffs with a 9 iron from 161 yards to a front pin on the par-3 fourth hole that landed just beyond the pin and returned to the cup.

“Well, 28 years on tour and I thought I had seen it all. I hadn’t seen it!” Westwood posted on Twitter.

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Equally impressive was the drive from MacIntyre, the 24-year-old Scotsman with a lot of courage and a lot of fighting. He was 1 down against Adam Long, who was set to advance with Johnson in the front group about to lose to Na.

Johnson stepped away from his 6-foot par putt (Na was only 4 feet for birdie) and his caddy, brother Austin, moved within a few feet of the cup to help read the putt. Out of nowhere, a ball shot off the left side of the bench around the green and rolled in front of the caddy’s feet.

Dustin had to mark MacIntyre’s ball in order to kick. MacIntyre didn’t realize what happened, except that he knew he hit the shot of his life.

“Probably one of the luckiest and best golf shots I’ve ever made,” MacIntyre said. “You have to keep fighting until the end, and that shows that anything can happen in this game.”

His only chance was a low bullet, and he reached the downward slope to run further to the left side of the green, which MacIntyre couldn’t see. Heard he was on the green.

“I had no idea how close,” MacIntyre said. I’m thinking it will be right on the green below the slope. I hope he has two putts to win the hole. But when I saw where they put the ball back, I said, ‘No way!’

“And that’s what you play for, these moments.”

Given what three days of group play have been through, there’s no telling what to expect on win or go home weekend. It will include a trio from Texas Longhorns, including Jordan Spieth for the first time since 2016. He won three straight holes at the turn and, unlike Thursday, when he knocked Matthew Wolff off the hook, Spieth managed to shut down Corey Conners.

Scottie Scheffler halved his game when Xander Schauffele made an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole, and then Scheffler returned the favor with a 12-foot birdie on the second extra hole. The other Longhorn is South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli, who became the first No. 64 seed in Match Play history to make it to the weekend.

Frittelli had company.

Two other players seeded at No. 60 or less reached the knockout stage. Ian Poulter won his third straight game as the No. 60 seed, while Erik van Rooyen (62) advanced by beating Daniel Berger with a pair on the second hole of the playoffs.

Poulter and Matt Kuchar are the only players to have won all three games. Kuchar knocked out defending champion Kevin Kisner with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole.

The 64-man field based on world rankings was divided into groups of 16, with the final 16 assigned to group “D”. Eight of those players are still in the game. Rahm was the only player in Group “A” of the top 16 seeds.

Brian Harman felt a small measure of redemption. He shot the equivalent of a 64 in the first round and still lost to Cantlay, who had seven birdies and an eagle. But when Cantlay flopped and lost to Hideki Matsuyama, that sent Cantlay and Harman back into a sudden death tiebreaker that Harman won when Cantlay’s even 4-foot putt missed.

Garcia was in awe of his ace, but was quick to point out that he had to make a 10-foot par and an 8-foot par for par on the previous two holes just to stay in the game through the postseason.

The eight playoffs to decide group winners broke the previous mark of five in 2017 since group play began six years ago.

“The two putts I made … huge to keep going,” Garcia said. “And then obviously the shot at 4, it’s a great shot, but then you’re lucky that it doesn’t hit the flag in the first place because it must have come very close to hitting the flag, and then it backs off. Obviously, very happy about it “.

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