AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Latest on the Dell Technologies Match Play (all times local):
Patrick Reed is moving on. Jordan Spieth is going home, and searching for clues to his game.
Reed never trailed in a 2-and-1 victory over Spieth, a regular partner in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Spieth hit out-of-bounds and into two hazards on the opening three holes. He squared the match at No. 10, only to lose two of the next three holes.
The match ended when Reed hit a 40-foot putt from behind the 17th green that looked as though it would go 8 feet by until it ran into the cup and disappeared for a birdie.
Spieth has made it out of his group just one time in four years of this format. He now has gone seven straight tournaments without a top 10.
Ian Poulter is finally No. 2 behind Tiger Woods – at least when it comes to most matches won in the Match Play.
Poulter took advantage of Kevin Chappell and his ailing back and completed a 3-0 record to win his group. Poulter was 3 up when Chappell conceded the match at the turn.
That was the 26th victory for Poulter, who won this event in 2010. Woods, a three-time champion, has won 33 matches.
Poulter is playing the Match Play for the first time since 2015. He needs at least one more victory to assure moving into the top 50 in the world and qualify for the Masters.
Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth finally caught Patrick Reed, only to lose two of the next three holes. Reed had a 2 up lead with five to play.
Paul Casey lost twice on Friday in The Match Play.
Casey only needed to halve his match against Matt Fitzpatrick to win his group for the third time in four years. Fitzpatrick beat him, 3 and 2. Casey still could have advanced if Russell Henley and Kyle Stanley tied in their match, but Stanley made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 1-up victory. That meant Casey and Stanley finished 2-1-0 in the group.
There are no head-to-head tiebreakers, so they went to a sudden-death playoff. On the second hole, Stanley hit his approach to 4 feet and made the birdie putt to advance to the fourth round.
A similar scenario was shaping up involving Tyrrell Hatton, who was 2-0 but headed for a loss to Charley Hoffman. He would face a playoff against Alexander Levy and Brendan Steele, provided one of them one their match. They were all square through 14 holes.
This World Golf Championship didn’t go as well as the last one for Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson won his match Friday against Rafa Cabrera Bello to go 2-1 for the week. He still was eliminated when Charles Howell III completed a sweep of his round-robin matches by beating Satoshi Kodaira. Howell won the group and kept alive his hopes for getting into the top 50 to earn a spot in the Masters.
Mickelson was coming off a victory at the Mexico Championship for his third WGC title.
Meanwhile, Patrick Reed was 1 up through seven holes in a match that could not be described as aesthetically pleasing. Spieth hit out-of-bounds on No. 1 and into hazards on the next two holes. They have combined to make one birdie putt.
A big rally by Bubba Watson allowed him to advance to the weekend at the Match Play without having to go wait around for a playoff.
Watson birdied his last two holes, making an 8-footer on the 18th to earn a halve against Julian Suri. That was all the two-time Masters champion needed to win his group with a 2-0-1 record. If he missed, Watson and Suri would have gone to a sudden-death playoff.
Suri was the 64th and last player to get into the field when Joost Luiten withdrew. His intention was to “shock the world,” much like No. 64 seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the NCAA basketball tournament.
He had to settle with shocking Marc Leishman in the opening round, even though there are no real upsets in golf, anyway.
Watson will face Brian Harman in the fourth round Saturday morning, a match between Georgia lefties.
Brian Harman has defeated Rory McIlroy to become the first player to reach the weekend in the Dell Technologies Match Play.
Harman handed McIlroy his second loss of the week, 5 and 3, and won Group 6 to reach the fourth round at Austin Country Club. Harman was 2-0-1 in his group.
The winner from each of the 16 groups advances to the knockout stage over the weekend.
Four matches are between players who have yet to lose this week, and the star attraction is Jordan Spieth against Patrick Reed. They are stalwarts as partners in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Even in those situations, Spieth says they’re both trying to outdo the other.
Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren and Justin Thomas also are in matches between undefeated players.