WGC-Dell Match Play 2021: Billy Horschel, Victor Perez, Full Semifinal Field SetMarch 27, 2021
The final four at the WGC-Dell Match Play has been set, with Billy Horschel, Victor Perez, Matt Kuchar and Scottie Scheffler vying for the championship on Sunday.
Saturday began with the Round of 16 in the morning, followed by the quarterfinals immediately after. Based on the seeding when the event began, a number of upsets occurred through the first two days of competition.
No. 3 Jon Rahm was the only player ranked in the top 20 who was still standing heading into the Round of 16. Dylan Frittelli has been the Cinderella story of this weekend, as the lowest-seeded player in the field when the tournament began (No. 64).
Here are the results from both rounds at Austin Country Club on Saturday, via PGATour.com.
WGC-Dell Match Play Round of 16 Results
No. 3 Jon Rahm def. No. 62 Erik van Rooyen 3 & 2
No. 21 Tommy Fleetwood def. No. 64 Dylan Frittelli 4 & 3
No. 30 Scottie Scheffler def. No. 60 Ian Poulter 5 & 4
No. 31 Victor Perez def. No. 41 Robert MacIntyre 5 & 4
No. 32 Billy Horschel def. No. 53 Kevin Streelman 3 & 1
No. 39 Sergio Garcia def. No. 48 Mackenzie Hughes 2 & 1
No. 52 Matt Kuchar def. No. 49 Jordan Spieth 1 Up
No. 54 Brian Harman def. No. 55 Bubba Watson 2 & 1
WGC-Dell Match Play Quarterfinal Results
No. 30 Scottie Scheffler def. No. 3 Jon Rahm 3 & 1
No. 32 Billy Horschel def. No. 21 Tommy Fleetwood 1 Up (19 Holes)
No. 31 Victor Perez def. No. 39 Sergio Garcia 4 & 3
No. 52 Matt Kuchar def. No. 54 Brian Harman 2 & 1
WGC-Dell Match Play Semifinals
No. 31 Victor Perez vs. No. 32 Billy Horschel
No. 30 Scottie Scheffler vs. No. 52 Matt Kuchar
Jordan Spieth's run ended in the Round of 16 against Kuchar, but he looked good throughout the week prior to Saturday's defeat. The 27-year-old won two of his three matches in group play to advance to the knockout rounds.
Spieth did miss an opportunity in his match with Kuchar. He went birdie-birdie on the first two holes to go two up right out of the gate. He stayed one up through the 12th hole. Kuchar squared things with a birdie on No. 13 and won it in regulation with a birdie on No. 18.
Kuchar was in danger of taking a drop on No. 15 when he couldn't find his ball after his second shot landed in the brush. He found it with the help of some spectators. Saving a shot allowed him to halve the hole and keep the match tied.
Despite the disappointing ending for Spieth, he's built a lot of positive momentum heading into the Masters in two weeks. He hasn't finished worse than 15th in each of his previous four traditional tournaments, including three top-four finishes.
Rahm's run nearly ended Friday when he was taken to a sudden-death playoff in his final group match against Ryan Palmer. A birdie on the second playoff hole moved the No. 3 seed into the Round of 16.
After that close call, Rahm had little trouble in his first match of the knockout round against Erik van Rooyen. He did bogey the 12th hole to even things up, but an eagle on No. 13 and par on No. 14 put him two up.
Rahm's eagle on the par-five 16th hole gave him the 3 & 2 win.
Scheffler, who had an easy 5 & 4 win over Ian Poulter in the Round of 16, got matched up with Rahm in the quarterfinal. The Texas native carried that momentum into his showdown with the No. 3 seed.
After both players posted par on the first hole, Scheffler immediately took control by winning three of the next four holes.
Rahm did find his footing with birdies on the seventh and ninth holes that closed Scheffler's lead to one up heading onto the back nine. Scheffler responded after making the turn with two birdies of his own on Nos. 10 and 12 to go back up three, and he held on for the win.
The best match of the quarterfinal saw Billy Horschel beat Tommy Fleetwood on the first playoff hole.
Fleetwood led for most of the match, including going two up after Horschel's bogey on No. 11. Horschel responded with birdies on Nos. 12 and 17 to even the match going into No. 18. Fleetwood's tee shot on the first playoff hole landed out of bounds, forcing him to take a drop and settle for bogey.
Horschel made par to win the match and advance to the semifinal.
Kuchar is the only player still in the field who is unbeaten this weekend. He won each of his three matches in group play before knocking off Spieth and Brian Harman on Saturday. This is a quick turnaround for the 42-year-old, who missed the cut in five of his 11 events this season dating back to September.
Two more wins on Sunday will give Kuchar his second career title at the Match Play Championships. He previously won in 2013 by going undefeated in group play going into the knockout rounds.