WGC-Dell Match Play 2021: Sergio Garcia Advances on Ace; No. 1 Johnson Out

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 27, 2021

Sergio Garcia, of Spain, celebrates as he take his ball out of the cup after making a hole in one on the fourth hole to win his playoff against Lee Westwood, of England, during a third round match at the Dell Technologies Match Play Championship golf tournament Friday, March 26, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Sergio Garcia advanced to the round of 16 on a walkoff ace and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson has been eliminated as group competition concluded at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Friday at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas.

Elsewhere, upsets have permeated this entire competition to the point where Jon Rahm was the only top-16 seed to advance. Rahm needed a playoff to advance after taking down Ryan Palmer.

Ryan Lavner @RyanLavnerGC

This is pretty wild: Only ONE top-20 seed (Rahm) advances to the Round of 16 at the Match Play Other seeds moving on: 21 30 31 32 39 41 48 49 52 53 54 55 60 62 64

Here's a look at who will join Garcia and Rahm in the round of 16, which will occur Saturday. The quarterfinals will follow on the same day before the semifinals and finals take place Sunday.

You can also check out some memorable moments from Friday.


Round of 16

No. 52 Matt Kuchar vs. No. 49 Jordan Spieth

No. 55 Bubba Watson vs. No. 54 Brian Harman

No. 30 Scottie Scheffler vs. No. 60 Ian Poulter

No. 3 Jon Rahm vs. No. 62 Eric Van Rooyen

No. 32 Billy Horschel vs. No. 53 Kevin Streelman

No. 21 Tommy Fleetwood vs. No. 64 Dylan Frittelli

No. 41 Robert MacIntyre vs. No. 31 Victor Perez

No. 39 Sergio Garcia vs. No. 48 Mackenzie Hughes


Friday Rundown

Garcia and Lee Westwood led Group 8 with matching 2-1 records after three days, leading to a sudden-death playoff between the two. The tie remained intact after three holes, but the 2017 Masters champion took matters into his own hands with an ace on the par-three No. 4 from 161 yards out.


THAT JUST HAPPENED! @TheSergioGarcia makes a walk-off hole-in-one to advance to the Round of 16. https://t.co/FSbzaytTx8

The 41-year-old is moving onto the final 16, but Johnson will not be joining him. DJ would have played another day if he beat Kevin Na on Friday, but the five-time PGA Tour winner won 1-up over Johnson.

Na and Johnson had an interesting exchange after the 11th hole. Johnson had a 7'10" putt to win the hole that lipped out. Instead of finishing the hole or waiting for Na to concede, Johnson tapped the ball to himself before picking it up. Na then discussed the matter with DJ and spoke with reporters afterward:

Golf Central @GolfCentral

There was testy situation between Dustin Johnson and Kevin Na following a swiped-away, 6-inch putt. Na explains his side: https://t.co/u4gUaW7SQD https://t.co/LoAyKTJAUt

Daniel Rapaport @Daniel_Rapaport

Kevin Na gives some detail about what happened with DJ on 11—and, in crushing news to those of us who love a good *spat*, this looks like a nothingburger. https://t.co/l9dwHjsDu8

Johnson was 1-up after 11 holes, but Na had four birdies on the final seven holes to finish with the 1-up win.

Meanwhile, Robert McIntyre halved his match with Adam Long to finish 1-0-2 over three days and earn Group 1's bid to the next round. Johnson fell just short at 1-1-1.

Johnson won the 2017 competition, but he's been the No. 1 overall seed in the 2018, 2019 and 2021 competitions and failed to advance from group play each time.

Only two golfers will advance to the round of 16 with 3-0-0 records.

Ian Poulter was the first to earn that mark after taking down Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy and Lanto Griffin. He started his tournament with a dominant 6-and-5 victory over McIlroy before beating Smith 1-up and Griffin 2-and-1 on Friday. Per Justin Ray of the 15th Club, Poulter has now made the round of 16 eight times, tying Tiger Woods for most all-time.

Matt Kuchar joins Poulter in the ranks of the unbeaten and untied. He defeated Justin Thomas 3-and-2 and Louis Oosthuizen 1-up before facing Kevin Kisner (2-0-0 entering Friday) in a de-facto group championship match. Kuchar took care of business against Kisner, winning 2-and-1.

Golf Channel will begin the televised broadcast of the quarterfinals beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday. NBC will then air the tournament from 2-6 p.m.


All results and schedules via PGATour.com.


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