After prevailing in a playoff Friday to win Group 3, third-seeded Jon Rahm of Spain became the only one of the top 20 seeds to reach the knockout stage at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play event in Austin, Texas.
Rahm halved his Friday match with Ryan Palmer to leave both at 2-0-1 atop their group. The pair went to a playoff, which Rahm won with a birdie on the second hole.
The 64-player field was divided into 16 groups for round-robin play Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The winner of each group advanced to the weekend.
Among those eliminated on Friday was world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who took a 1-down defeat against Kevin Na. Johnson was 1 up through 16 holes before Na rallied to win each of the last two holes with birdies. The result left Johnson at 1-1-1 and the already-eliminated Na at 1-2-0.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, the 41st seed, emerged atop the group at 1-0-2 after halving with Adam Long. He did it by driving the green with his tee shot at the 371-yard, par-4 18th hole, leaving it 4 feet from the cup. The ensuing eagle allowed him to pull level with Long after he was 3 down through nine holes.
“I had probably one of the best and one of the luckiest golf shots I’ve hit in my life,” MacIntyre said.
He added, “(My caddie) gave me a shake on the 10th tee, like, ‘Come on, we’ve got to keep fighting here.’ That’s something that I normally always have inside me, but my head was down through 9 and I didn’t know where to go, but we just kept giving ourselves chances.”
Fifth-seeded Bryson DeChambeau failed to make the weekend after a 1-down defeat to England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who won Group 5 at 2-0-1. DeChambeau wound up 1-2-0.
Fleetwood was 4 up through seven holes, but DeChambeau got back within one by winning the 14th and 15th holes. However, each player made pars the rest of the way, with Fleetwood surviving almost hitting his ball in a creek at No. 18.
“I could hit the ball, which was lucky,” Fleetwood said of his awkward lie. “It was just the direction that might have been the problem. But I knew I could hit the ball so I could find a way into that. … It came out way better than I thought it would. It helps when you can ground your club in a hazard now.”
The Saturday round-of-16 matchups, with seeding in parentheses:
England’s Tommy Fleetwood (21) vs. South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli (64)
United States’ Billy Horschel (32) vs. United States’ Kevin Streelman (53)
Spain’s Sergio Garcia (39) vs. Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes (48)
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre (41) vs. France’s Victor Perez (31)
United States’ Scottie Scheffler (30) vs. England’s Ian Poulter (60)
Spain’s Jon Rahm (3) vs. South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen (62)
United States’ Bubba Watson (55) vs. United States’ Brian Harman (54)
United States’ Matt Kuchar (52) vs. United States’ Jordan Spieth (49)
–Field Level Media
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