Match Play advances to Round of 16

3greenWeekend Preview – World Golf Championships –Dell Match Play – Austin Country Club – Austin, Texas –

After three days of Group Play, the field at the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play has been trimmed down to 16 players advancing to the weekend.

As always, a few surprises and several heavyweights flexing their match-play might at Austin Country Club in Texas – just two weeks before the season’s first major championship at The Masters in Augusta.

World No. 1 Jordan Spieth, second-ranked Jason Day and No. 3 Rory McIlroy all advanced to the round of 16. Rory had the most difficult road – after going 2-0-1 and then edging Kevin Na in a two-hole sudden-death playoff.

Spieth advances to Saturday’s knock-out stage. He plays former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen with the winner moving on to the Quarterfinals in the afternoon Saturday against the winner of Patrick Reed-Dustin Johnson. The Americans advanced in dominating fashion – especially Reed, who was 3-0 for the week

Louis Oosthuizen current official PGA TOUR headshot. (Photo by: Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR)

Louis Oosthuizen current official PGA TOUR headshot.
(Photo by: Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR)

including a 5&4 triumph against Phil Mickelson Friday.

Other headliner matches Saturday morning include McIlroy against two-time major champion Zach Johnson. Zach is 3-0 this week. On the opposite end of the draw from Rory-Zach is Day against Brandt Snedeker.

Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Bill Haas (who knocked out Adam Scott), Chris Kirk and Ryan Moore also advanced through Group Play. Additional international players making it through to the weekend include European Tour regular Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

Day opened the week as the betting favorite at 8-to-1 odds, according to Station Casinos in Las Vegas. Coming off a win last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Day rides a wave of confidence. He won the Match Play title in 2014 in the Arizona desert.

Other Golf news:

  • Haas is one of the long shots with a chance to win the WGC-Dell Match Play. He opened the week as a 50-1 long shot. Haas, a former season-long FedEx Cup champion, takes on Chris Kirk Saturday morning and then would match up PGA TOURagainst the McIlroy-Zach Johnson winner in the afternoon quarterfinals.
  • Rafael Campos (9-under) leads the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach through 36 holes by a shot. Ian Poulter moved into a T-3 position with a 6-under-66 in round two action at Trump International.
  • Jenny Shin (10-under) leads the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic through 36 holes. Lydia Ko is tied for Brittany Lang for second place.