Top seeds Spieth, Day, McIlroy advance at Match Play

Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:33pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Top seeds Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy all made it through the round-robin phase at the WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas on Friday to advance to the 16-man knockout stage.

Bubba Watson was the highest seed to fall, the fourth-ranked American exiting Group 4 with a 1-1-1 record after losing to J.B. Holmes. Patton Kizzire, seeded 63rd in the 64-man tournament, advanced from the group with a win and two halves.

Defending champion McIlroy set up a Saturday showdown with British Open winner Zach Johnson at Austin Country Club.

McIlroy posted an identical 2-0-1 overall record as his Friday opponent Kevin Na, but advanced as the winner of his four-man group when he won a playoff at the second extra hole after Na drove into a hazard.

Six players finished the stage with 3-0-0 records -- Spieth, Day, Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed and Bill Haas.

Third seed McIlroy was relieved just to have made it through.

"All three of my matches this week have been tough," the Northern Irishman told Golf Channel.

"I didn’t get off to the best of starts again, but found my rhythm in the middle of the round, and started to make some birdies and hit some good shots when I needed to.

"It took a mistake from him to get over the line."   Continued...

Mar 25, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Jordan Spieth during the third round of the World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play at the Austin Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports