WGC-Dell Match Play 2019: Matt Kuchar Advances to Semis, Tiger Woods Eliminated

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2019

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 30: Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland stand on the 13th tee during the fourth round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 30, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play continued at the Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, with the field continuing to be whittled down throughout the day as the tournament progressed.

The round of 16 featured stars Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy going head-to-head, with Woods using a strong start to hold off his opponent for a 2-and-1 victory. And while Woods appeared to be in control for the majority of his quarterfinals match, Saturday would mark the end of his run at the tournament.

Below is a look at the latest action from Texas.

     

WGC-Dell Match Play 2019 Results—Saturday

Quarterfinals

Francesco Molinari def. Kevin Na 6 and 5

Kevin Kisner def. Louis Oosthuizen 2 and 1

Lucas Bjerregaard def. Tiger Woods 1-up

Matt Kuchar def. Sergio Garcia 2-up

     

Round of 16

Sergio Garcia def. Branden Grace 1-up

Matt Kuchar def. Tyrrell Hatton 4 and 3

Tiger Woods def. Rory McIlroy 2 and 1

Lucas Bjerregaard def. Henrik Stenson 3 and 2

Kevin Na def. Justin Rose 2 up

Francesco Molinari def. Paul Casey 5 and 4

Kevin Kisner def. HaoTong Li 6 and 5

Louis Oosthuizen def. Marc Leishman 2 and 1

     

WGC-Dell Match Play 2019 Schedule—Sunday

Semifinals

Francesco Molinari vs. Kevin Kisner

Matt Kuchar vs. Lucas Bjerregaard

     

Finals

Francesco Molinari-Kevin Kisner winner vs. Matt Kuchar-Lucas Bjerregaard winner

     

Third-Place Match

Francesco Molinari-Kevin Kisner loser vs. Matt Kuchar-Lucas Bjerregaard loser

     

All eyes were on Tiger throughout the day.

His first match, against McIlroy, was even through the opening four holes. Ultimately, it was Woods who was able to draw first blood:

The 43-year-old managed to build on his lead with a birdie on the sixth as well:

Just like that, the 14-time major champ was 2-up.

It would remain that way until the 10th, when Woods struck again. Facing a three-hole deficit, McIlroy had eight holes to try to get something going.

He finally got on the board by winning his first hole of the day on 12 and closed the gap to one by winning the 13th as well. However, he was unable to complete the comeback. Woods gained some breathing room on the 16th and wound up closing out McIlroy in 17.

That set up a showdown with Lucas Bjerregaard in the quarterfinals.

Unlike in his previous match, Woods found himself playing from behind early on. Bjerregaard won the first hole to take an early lead...but that advantage did not last long.

Woods responded not long after by using a trio of birdies to capture three straight holes:

At that point, he was 2-up and in a rhythm. Unfortunately for him, though, he was unable to continue to pull away—and that opened the door for his opponent.

Bjerregaard cut the deficit in half on the seventh and later squared things up on the 10th. But Woods wasted no time in regaining the lead on the 11th.

Bjerregaard would even the score on the 16th, setting the stage for a dramatic finish on the final hole.

Afterward, the 27-year-old Bjerregaard talked about the unbelievable experience of defeating his role model:

As for Tiger, the former world No. 1 is disappointed not to be playing on the final day of the tournament.

"No I'm not," Woods responded when asked if he felt his game was ready for the Masters, per ESPN's Bob Harig. "I wanted to play tomorrow. This is going to sting for a few days and I'll get back after it after that."

There was plenty of action that did not involve Woods, too.

Kevin Kisner and Louis Oosthuizen were engaged in a compelling match as well, with neither golfer able to create any separation. This showdown saw the score squared up five different times with the lead being exchanged multiple times throughout the match.

Outside of Oosthuizen winning back-to-back holes on Nos. 4 and 5 and the two golfers parring No. 8, they traded turns winning holes through the front six. It wasn't until the 10th that anyone was able to hold a lead for an extended period.

Down one with four to play, Kisner came through in the clutch by winning the final three holes to win the match and advance.

Sergio Garcia came from behind to knock off Branden Grace in the round of 16, but he was unable to mount another rally in the quarterfinals against Matt Kuchar. Coming off a dominant 4-and-3 victory over Tyrrell Hatton earlier in the day, Kuchar carried the momentum into his second match. He held a 3-up lead through eight holes, a span that featured a moment that would later prove important:

While Garcia made a late charge, he came up just short.

Kevin Na managed to win the first hole of his quarterfinal match, but Francesco Molinari answered by running off six straight holes to take a commanding lead. Na would not win another hole, allowing Molinari to finish the job in 13 holes.

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