Watson wins, denies Thomas No. 1 ranking

VIDEO Matt Kuchar makes hole-in-one at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play			@PGATour

Justin Thomas won twice on Saturday (March 24) to move one triumph from the world No. 1 ranking and into a semi-final against two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson at the WGC Match-Play Championship.

Like the NCAA tournament, however, being one of the last four standing only means more work, and Thomas will have plenty to keep him busy when he sets out early Sunday in a semifinal match against Bubba Watson.

Justin Thomas and Sergio Garcia booked their place in the last 16 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are out.

The other semifinal is between Kevin Kisner and Alex Noren of Sweden.

Thomas had just one blemish on his card when his second shot on the par-4 third found the water and he went on to make bogey, while Molinari parred the hole to pick up his only advantage of the day.

Having missed from five feet to lose that par five, he squandered an opportunity to win the next hole from slightly further away. Her first name may be especially fitting since Azalea is the name Augusta National gives to the par-5 13th hole, and Garcia's par there in the final round a year ago after he hit into a hazard saved his round. "And obviously going from winning on Sunday to travelling on Monday, and getting an early practice on Tuesday to play on Wednesday, I didn't have a lot of time to recharge the batteries".

"I guess I'm good at that", Watson said. A Kisner eagle at 12 made it all square and it needed an extra hole to separate the pair.

It doesn't include Dustin Johnson, the defending champion who played so poorly that none of the three matches he lost made it to the 18th hole.


"I'm optimistic that I can go ahead and do this more often".

During the Match Play, all those little equipment intricacies added up to assist in a pretty big win.

"It's just the mental focus, trying to make sure I'm in every shot, committed to every shot", Watson said of the secret to his week's success. He won the first five holes and was 6 up after seven.

But Spieth bogeyed the par-three 11th to hand the lead back to Reed, who stretched the gap with a gain on the 13th and then found himself three up after Spieth missed from six feet on the 15th.

The 28-year-old credited former PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon for inspiring his magic with the flatstick, but also admitted that Wayne Rooney played a small but pivotal role, too, even if the former Manchester United striker knew nothing about it.

"I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot, " Kerr said.

A win in the Round of 16 will boost the Englishman into the top 50 in the world and save him a spot at the Masters in two weeks.

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