27 March 2021: The final 16 players are decided at the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play on Friday with one coming via a walk-off ace. Only one of the top ten advanced to the knockout stages, in a week full of upset results. Tommy Fleetwood, Dylan Frittelli, Billy Horschel, Kevin Streelman, Sergio Garcia, Mackenzie Hughes, Robert Macintyre, Victor Perez, Scottie Scheffler, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm, Erik van Rooyen, Bubba Watson, Brian Harman, Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth endured the topsy turvy group stages to emerge as contenders for weekend honours.
SERGIO GARCIA ADVANCES VIA WALKOFF ACE
Spain’s Sergio Garcia provided the moment of the tournament thus far by producing a hole-in-one on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff against England’s Lee Westwood to advance to the final 16.
Garcia had already made two lengthy par putts to stay alive during the playoff before taking dead aim on the par-3 3rd from 160-yards.
His shot dropped a few feet behind the hole before rolling back into the cup, knocking his Ryder Cup teammate Westwood out of the tournament.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 26, 2021
“A hole-in-one is amazing. Lucky No. 13 for me. But the two putts I made on two and three, massive, to keep myself going. And then obviously the shot on four, it’s a great shot, but then you get lucky that first of all it doesn’t hit the flag… and then it rolls back in,” Garcia beamed afterwards.
“Obviously very happy about that. I’m sorry for Lee because I did a couple stupid things to him this week, the first day and today, but unfortunately one of us had to lose.”
Earlier Garcia had his fate in his own hands knowing a win or tie against Matt Wallace would see him advance. But he was unable to best the Englishman thanks in part to a foot cramp. Wallace won 3 and 2 which opened the door for Westwood to force a playoff if he could beat fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.
“It was a tough day. I had to take some Advil on the sixth green because the arch of my left foot was cramping and I was struggling to get through the ball,” Garcia admitted.
“Because of that I didn’t hit the ball as well as I did the other days. I didn’t hit it poorly, but I just didn’t hit it quite as well. I’m going to have to work on it because tomorrow hopefully is going to be a very long day, and I need my feet to be in perfect shape.”
Westwood, who finished runner up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and at THE PLAYERS Championship, took Hatton out comfortably 4 and 3 to get his return bout with Garcia.
And it appeared the veteran might avenge his round 1 loss (4 and 3) to the former Masters champion when Garcia faced a 10-foot par save on the second playoff hole, and again when he left 8-feet for par on the third extra hole. But Garcia stepped up and drained them both before his heroics on the fourth.
PGA TOUR Content
Knockout Rounds – Round of 16
Tommy Fleetwood (21) v Dylan Frittelli (64)
Billy Horschel (32) v Kevin Streelman (53)
Sergio Garcia (39) v Mackenzie Hughes (48)
Robert MacIntyre (41) v Victor Perez (31)
Scottie Scheffler (30) v Ian Poulter (60)
Jon Rahm (3) v Erik van Rooyen (62)
Bubba Watson (55) v Brian Harman (54)
Matt Kuchar (52) v Jordan Spieth (49)