Friday, March 25, 2016

Dell World Match-play at Austin, Texas

Russell Knox through to last 16 if he can beat 

Branden Grace today

Sixty-four matches down, 48 to go. It's day three at the Dell Match-play tournament at Austin Country Club, Texas and the final group stage matches to decide which players will advance to the last 16. 
As things stand, 22 players have been mathematically eliminated while 42 still have a chance to make it to Saturday's knock-out phase.
Here's a look at the various scenarios in play today as well as the best seven matches to look out for.
Jordan Spieth (2-0) vs Justin Thomas (0-2)
Close friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas face each other in their final match in Group 1. Spieth, who has beaten Victor Dubuisson and Jamie Donaldson already, will advance to the last 16 with a win or a tie whilst Thomas has already been eliminated.
Victor Dubuisson (1-1) vs Jamie Donaldson (1-1)
Ryder Cup team-mates Dubuisson and Donaldson both need a win to have any chance of making the knock-out stage. If Spieth loses to Thomas, then the winner of this match will play the World Number One in a playoff to decide the winner of Group 1.
Thongchai Jaidee (1-1) vs Graeme McDowell (0-1-1)
In a replay of the 2013 Volvo World Match Play final, Jaidee and Gmac will go head to head today. Whilst Graeme McDowell is playing for pride, having failed to win either of his opening two matches, Jaidee must win to have a chance of advancing. A win and a Jason Day loss would result in a playoff.
Rory McIlroy (2-0) vs Kevin Na (2-0)
In one of three matches between two players with perfect records, McIlroy and Na will battle for the number one spot in Group 3. McIlroy has won nine straight matches in the event, dating back to his overall victory last year whilst Kevin Na has never made it to the last 16 in three previous appearances.
Justin Rose (1-0-1) vs Matt Kuchar (1-0-1)
The scenarios in Group 7 are simple. Whoever wins this match advances to the last 16. If Rose and Kuchar tie, they will continue to a play-off to decide who wins the group. Rose and Kuchar both have three Ryder Cup appearances each and faced each other in four-ball play in 2012 when Kuchar and Dustin Johnson beat Rose and Kaymer 3 and 2.
Branden Grace (1-1-0) vs Russell Knox (1-0-1)
Russell Knox already has a WGC title in his trophy case and he controls his destiny in Group 11. The WGC-HSBC Champions winner will reach the last 16 in his debut appearance if he can defeat World Number 12 Grace. A tie for Knox could see him face Chris Kirk in a deciding play-off, whilst a tie for Grace would see him eliminated.
Louis Oosthuizen (2-0) vs Andy Sullivan (2-0)
Similar to Rose and Kuchar, the winner of this match will win Group 16. Sullivan has impressed in his first appearance at this event, whilst Oosthuizen is continuing the form that saw him win the ISPS HANDA Perth International last month. There may not be a more laid back match-up on Friday but rest assured both these smiling assassins will be keen to advance.
Other group scenarios:
Bubba Watson controls things in Group 4. The World Number Four has a win and tie so far and will reach the knockout stages if he is able to beat JB Holmes today.

There’s a possibility of a four-way deciding playoff in Group 5. Should Scott Piercy and Jason Dufner tie and Rickie Fowler beat Byeong-Hun An, all four players would finish on 1.5 points. That being said, An can win the group if he can defeat Fowler.

Adam Scott and Bill Haas will play to decide Group 6. Haas requires a tie or a win whilst Scott must win to advance.

All four players in Group 8 have one point after two matches. If we see two winners in this group today, there will be two-man playoff to decide the group winner. Dustin Johnson takes on Jimmy Walker whilst Kiradech Aphibarnrat will face Robert Streb.

Group 9 will be won by either Patrick Reed or Phil Mickelson. They face off in the deciding match, knowing that a tie will result in extra holes.
Brooks Koepka remains perfect in Group 10 and can only be eliminated in a playoff if he loses and Billy Horschel beats Jaco Van Zyl.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello’s monster putt on Thursday puts him in control of Group 12. A win will see the Spaniard move through to the last 16, whilst a loss would see him face the winner of Matsuyama and Kisner, should one of them win their match, in a playoff.

Marc Leishman is the only man eliminated in Group 13. Ryan Moore will win the group if he beats Lee Westwood, whilst Westwood himself and Sergio Garcia both have a shot at winning the group only if they win their matches.

The only man that can stop Zach Johnson winning Group 14 is Martin Kaymer. Despite losing 8 and 6 to the defending Open champion yesterday, Kaymer would force a play-off if he were to beat Marcus Fraser and Johnson lose to Lowry.

Finally, Charl Schwartzel and Brandt Snedeker will face off for the qualifying spot in Group 15. Both Danny Lee and Charley Hoffman have been eliminated.


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