The Latest: Bubba Watson rallies to avoid extra holes

The Latest: Bubba Watson rallies to avoid extra holes
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, hits on the second hole during round-robin play at the Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament, Friday, March 23, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Dell Technologies Match Play (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

A big rally by Bubba Watson allowed him to advance to the weekend at the Match Play without having to go wait around for a playoff.

Watson birdied his last two holes, making an 8-footer on the 18th to earn a halve against Julian Suri. That was all the two-time Masters champion needed to win his group with a 2-0-1 record. If he missed, Watson and Suri would have gone to a sudden-death playoff.

Suri was the 64th and last player to get into the field when Joost Luiten withdrew. His intention was to “shock the world,” much like No. 64 seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the NCAA basketball tournament.

He had to settle with shocking Marc Leishman in the opening round, even though there are no real upsets in golf, anyway.

Watson will face Brian Harman in the fourth round Saturday morning, a match between Georgia lefties.


1:15 p.m.

Brian Harman has defeated Rory McIlroy to become the first player to reach the weekend in the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Harman handed McIlroy his second loss of the week, 5 and 3, and won Group 6 to reach the fourth round at Austin Country Club. Harman was 2-0-1 in his group.

The winner from each of the 16 groups advances to the knockout stage over the weekend.

Four matches are between players who have yet to lose this week, and the star attraction is Jordan Spieth against Patrick Reed. They are stalwarts as partners in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Even in those situations, Spieth says they’re both trying to outdo the other.

Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren and Justin Thomas also are in matches between undefeated players.