AUSTIN (KXAN) — Without a doubt, Sergio Garcia delivered the shot of the tournament on Friday afternoon to book his ticket to the weekend knockout rounds of the WGC Match Play event.
Facing Lee Westwood in a playoff to win the group and advance to the round of 16, Garcia’s tee shot on the fourth playoff hole landed about a foot behind the pin and rolled into the cup for a walk-off ace.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Garcia said. “Obviously, yeah, a hole in one is amazing. Lucky number 13 for me. It’s a great shot, but then you get lucky that first of all, it doesn’t hit the flag because it must have been very close to hitting the flag. And then it rolls back in. Obviously very happy about that.”
The reason Garcia was in a playoff to begin with was because he lost his match to Matt Wallace, 3 & 2, which dropped his record to 2-1-0, which tied him with Westwood.
Garcia, a part-time Austinite, will play Mackenzie Hughes Saturday morning for a berth in the round of eight.
All three Longhorns in the field also advanced to the weekend.
Jordan Spieth, who’s been playing well since February, continued to do so through the group play rounds, going 2-0-1, including a win over Corey Conners today, 3 & 2, to book his ticket to the knockout rounds.
WGC Match Play rookies, Dylan Frittelli and Scottie Scheffler, join Spieth as the other two Longhorns to keep playing.
Frittelli, who was the last player into the field was the first to advance. Despite losing to Will Zalatoris, 2 up, he was already through to the weekend thanks to the rest of his group eliminating themselves. He finished the first three rounds with a 2-1-0 record.
He’ll play Tommy Fleetwood in the round of 16.
Scottie Scheffler, the highest ranked of the three Longhorns this week had a strong showing. He tied Xander Schauffele today, and the two immediately went to a a playoff to see who would win the group.
On the second playoff hole, Scheffler made a birdie to win the hole and the group to advance to Saturday.
I feel like I’ve done a really good job hanging in there,” Scheffler said. “I feel like I haven’t had my best stuff this week, but I’ve done a really good job of staying patient and doing a good job of closing out these matches. To go into the knockout rounds without a loss is comforting.”
Scheffler will play Ian Poulter Saturday morning.