No. 3 seed Jon Rahm advances to WGC-Match Play quarterfinals

PUBLISHED: Sat, 27 Mar 2021 20:28:07 GMT

Third-seeded Jon Rahm of Spain advanced through the Round of 16 on Saturday with a 3-and-2 win over South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play event in Austin, Texas.

Rahm, the only top-20 seed to reach the knockout stage, drew first blood on the opening hole against the No. 62 seed and never trailed in his match vs. van Rooyen. Rahm seized the lead for good thanks to an eagle at the par-4 13th, a par at 14 to go 2-up and a second eagle at the par-5 16th to close match.

Next up for Rahm, who advances to the quarterfinals for the second time at Austin Country Club, is former Texas Longhorn Scottie Scheffler.

Scheffler, the No. 30 seed making his tournament debut, defeated No. 60 seed and 2010 champion Ian Poulter of England, 5 and 4. Scheffler won his first hole on No. 3 and never trailed against Poulter, who did not win a hole on Saturday.

The event started with 64 players divided into 16 groups for round-robin play over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The winner of each group advanced to the weekend, which features single-elimination format for Saturday’s Round of 16 and quarterfinals, as well as Sunday’s semifinals, championship and consolation matches.

No. 21 seed Tommy Fleetwood made a hole-in-one from 179 yards on the par-3 fourth hole and closed out the match with a birdie on No. 15 to win 4-up over former Texas Longhorn and No. 64 seed Dylan Frittelli of South Africa.

Fleetwood next faces No. 32 seed Billy Horschel, who ousted No. 53 seed Kevin Streelman, 3 and 1. Horschel won the opening two holes and never trailed en route to the win and his first quarterfinals appearance.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia, seeded No. 29, advanced to his second consecutive quarterfinals at Austin, with his 2-and-1 win over Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes. Garcia was 1-down to the No. 48 seed through six holes but rallied to take the 1-up lead before the turn and never relinquished it.

No. 31 seed Victor Perez of France is next for Garcia after defeating No. 41 seed Robert MacIntyre of Scotland, 5 and 4. Perez won Nos. 10-12 to take a 6-up lead through 12 holes before closing out the match on No. 14.

In one of the day’s more dramatic matches, No. 54 seed Brian Harman rallied from 4-down through six holes to win seven consecutive holes to beat 2018 champion Bubba Watson (No. 55 seed), 2 and 1.

Matt Kuchar, the 2019 runner-up and No. 52 seed, advanced to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year with a narrow 1-up win over No. 49 seed Jordan Spieth. Kuchar, who was 2-down through 10 holes, made birdie at 18 to defeat Spieth.

Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinal matches:

–Tommy Fleetwood (21) vs. Billy Horschel (32)

–Victor Perez (31) vs. Sergio Garcia (39)

–Jon Rahm (3) vs. Scottie Scheffler (30)

–Matt Kuchar (52) vs. Brian Harman (54)

–Field Level Media

(c) Copyright Field Level Media. All Rights Reserved. 2021

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