Koepka wins 19th hole to top Rahm, Scheffler ousts Horschel

By Sports Desk March 26, 2022

Brooks Koepka edged a battle of two heavyweights at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, needing a 19th hole to beat world number one Jon Rahm.

The two were paired in the pick of a round of 16 that delivered its fair share of thrills and spills early on Saturday.

Koepka was 2 up twice on the back nine, only to be reeled in by Rahm at the 16th and 17th, meaning an additional hole was required.

A birdie from Koepka was enough as they replayed the 10th, setting up another intriguing quarter-final clash with Dustin Johnson.

For a time, it appeared Johnson would be joining Rahm in making an early exit, as 49-year-old opponent Richard Bland was 2 up through five holes.

However, Bland double-bogeyed the sixth as he lost four of the next five holes, allowing Johnson to canter home 3 and 2.

The other standout match-up saw a replay of last year's final. Billy Horschel won the 2021 title, but he was beaten this time by Scottie Scheffler, who finished 1 up.

Scheffler's next task is against Seamus Power, who this time last year was finishing in a tie for 54th at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, leaving him ranked 463rd in the world.

On Saturday, Power routed Tyrrell Hatton 4 and 3 – albeit not the biggest win, as Abraham Ancer dominated Collin Morikawa 7 and 6 and will face Corey Conners, a 5 and 3 winner.

In the final section of the draw, Will Zalatoris required 22 holes to get the better of Kevin Na, with Kevin Kisner up next.

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    Woods insisted he could challenge for a 16th major title after playing 23 holes on Friday to make a record 24th consecutive cut, but slumped to a third round of 82 instead.

    The 48-year-old’s previous worst scores both came in 2022, when he shot 78 in both the third and fourth rounds.

    Woods followed a bogey on the fourth with a superb birdie on the difficult fifth, but then bogeyed the sixth and ran up a double bogey on the seventh.

    The 15-time major winner also made a double bogey on the par-five eighth for the first time in his career and dropped another shot on the ninth in a front nine of 42.

    Woods made five more bogeys and a birdie on the 13th in a back nine of 40 in what was his 99th round in the Masters.

  • Jason Day reveals Augusta officials asked him to remove sleeveless jumper Jason Day reveals Augusta officials asked him to remove sleeveless jumper

    Jason Day has revealed that he was asked to remove his sleeveless jumper by tournament officials during the second day’s play at Augusta National.

    Day’s striking top attracted plenty of attention on social media and also, it appears, from tournament officials.

    “Yeah, they asked me to take it off, the vest off yesterday,” Day said after his third round on Saturday.

    “Respectfully, you do that because it’s all about the tournament here, and I understand that. I respect the tournament. That’s what we’re here to do is try and play and win the green jacket.”

    Asked if he had been given a specific reason for the request, such as the Malbon logo and text being too big, Day added: “I don’t know. I didn’t ask.

    “They said, can you take it off? I said, yeah, no worries.”

    Day also had no problem with jokes about the dangers of wearing very baggy trousers on an extremely windy day, admitting: “Yeah, if it’s down breeze these things puff up pretty quick.”

  • Jon Rahm left with ‘sour feeling’ after another frustrating day at the Masters Jon Rahm left with ‘sour feeling’ after another frustrating day at the Masters

    Defending champion Jon Rahm admitted he had a “sour feeling” at remaining a frustrated also-ran on day three of the 88th Masters at Augusta National.

    Rahm had insisted his competitive edge had not been dulled by his move to LIV Golf ahead of his attempt to become just the fourth player to win back-to-back Masters titles.

    The Spaniard’s shock move to the Saudi-backed breakaway came after he had previously pledged his loyalty to the PGA Tour and criticised LIV’s 54-hole format, with no cut and a shotgun start as “not a golf tournament”.

    The two-time major winner has failed to win any of the five LIV events he has played to date, but travelled to Augusta on the back of finishing fourth in Miami on Sunday and winning the team event at Doral.

    However, the Ryder Cup star was never a factor in the year’s first major and added a third round of 72 on Saturday to remain five over par after previous scores of 73 and 76.

    “Yesterday was terrible,” Rahm conceded. “Today I kept in in play off the tee, which is going to do a lot. Didn’t really make any putts, did I? Gave myself plenty of chances, just didn’t make them.

    “Luckily made the one on 17 to have the only birdie of the day – I had a few really good chances on three, four, five and eight, just none of them wanted to go in.

    “Those first two days it’s just too hard of conditions to not have your swing. Being a little lost and not being under control of what was going on makes it so much harder.

    “Had to play very defensively and try to pick my spots and just couldn’t put myself in a good position coming into today. I think if you came out today and somehow shot 67 or lower, maybe you could give yourself a little bit of hope.

    “But it’s a hard golf course out there. Anything under par is a good round. Anything in the 60s is a fantastic round today.”

    As defending champion Rahm will be required to hand over a green jacket to the winner on Sunday and added: “Yeah, I mean, worst case I’ll be a part of the ceremony. I’ll be there.

    “I’m guessing it will be a little different (to last year). Bit of a sour feeling knowing you’re not in contention.”

    Rahm’s successor as Masters champion will earn USD 3.6million (£2.89m) on Sunday, up by USD 360,000 (£289,000) from last year, after tournament officials announced the overall prize fund had been increased from USD 18m (£14.4m) to USD 20m (£16m).

    Rory McIlroy will not be presented with a green jacket by his Ryder Cup team-mate after failing to play his way back into contention on Saturday, the world number two returning a 71 to improve to three over par.

    McIlroy at least fared better than Tiger Woods, who had refused to give up hope of an unlikely sixth Masters title after making a record 24th consecutive halfway cut to lie seven shots off the lead.

    After following a bogey on the fourth with a superb birdie on the difficult fifth, Woods three-putted the next and ran up double bogeys on the seventh and eighth to slide further down the leaderboard.

    It is the first time in his career that Woods has taken seven on the par-five eighth.

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