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Justin Thomas the man to beat at the WGC Matchplay championship

26 March, 2018, 01:19 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Rory McIlroy

Justin Thomas has reached the semifinals of the Dell Technologies Match Play and is one round away from reaching No. 1 in the world.

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. And he won the 18th hole when he drove just short of the 18th green, chipped to 7 feet and holed the birdie putt.

His elimination paves the way for Justin Thomas to reach No. 1 in the world if he can win the Match Play this week. Noren had two putts inside 10 feet to win the match in regulation.

Kisner pulled his second shot badly left at the par-5 sixth hole, though he did halve the hole after he made a 12-footer for par and Watson missed a speedy 3-footer for his birdie.

Kisner chases the biggest title of his career, having won PGA crowns at Colonial previous year and Sea Island in 2015.

Dustin Johnson didn't win a match this week and will not get any world ranking points.

"I'm very happy to have my game in this shape going into the first major of the year of course", the world number seven said. "There are times I'll grab a new club or one that has been re-gripped and not even hit it because it doesn't feel right".

But Watson responded with a birdie at 10 before he went three up with six to play when Thomas tugged his second shot into water at the 12th and ran up a bogey-six.


Thomas was not at his best and Watson took advantage, the two-time Masters champion leading throughout the semi-final after starting with a birdie at the first. "But I need to be mentally stronger than that, and understand that it's just a match".

Rory McIlroy cited fatigue associated with last weekend's long-awaited success at the Arnold Palmer Invitational after his WGC Match Play involvement ended at the group stage.

Following the first three days of pool play that saw several top seeds cleared out of the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, we now have a clear-cut favorite to win this event after Saturday morning's round of 16.

"I played good in the beginning", Noren said.

"Probably nothing different from what I've been doing", Stanley said of his mindset for opposing the reigning Masters champion.

The tightest match was Alex Noren and Tony Finau, one of four matches between players who had not lost all week. It's a spot he promised he would get last fall, too.

Noren beat Australian Cameron Smith 4&2 while Kisner crushed Englishman Ian Poulter 8&6.

"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.

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