McDowell, Els and Furyk through
Graeme McDowell pulled off yet another great escape while Ernie Els and Jim Furyk advance to the fourth round of WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
McDowell, after rallying for two comeback wins where he was behind with just a few to play, again rode his luck to defeat Hunter Mahan at Dove Mountain.
After three matches and 58 holes, the Northern Irishman has yet to hit a tee shot while he has the lead.
McDowell was two behind with two to play, but won them both to extend the match. He halved the 20th hole after he made a 20-foot par putt, then sank a 15-footer for a birdie on the final green.
“My head went down as I walked off the 16th green. I really thought I blew it,” said the 34-year-old.
McDowell even admits he feels guilty after winning at the death three times in a row.
“Embarrassed is the wrong word. I’m not embarrassed. But I just feel like I’m robbing these guys.”
Jim Furyk defeated Harris English 1 up to reach the fourth round of the tournament for the first time. While English was in control in the early stages, leading by three after six holes, the wiry American made up the deficit. The 16th provided the crucial moment, as Furyk chipped in for a birdie to take the lead.
“That’s a difference in the match,” Furyk said about the chip.
“That ball doesn’t go in, it might go 10 feet by and I might be 1 down going to 17 rather than 1 up. I feel fortunate it hit the centre of the pin and went in.”
Ernie Els advanced following his 1up win over Jason Dufner, and now moves on to face Jordan Spieth, who is an astounding 24 years his junior.
Spieth dispatched defending champion Matt Kuchar 2 and 1 after carding nine birdies in 17 holes. The young Texan ended Kuchar’s eight match winning streak.
In other results, Rickie Fowler defeated Spaniard Sergio Garcia 1 up, while Louis Oosthuizen beat Webb Simpson 5 and 4.
I’m playing some of my best (golf) now,” said Oosthuizen.
“I’m hitting the ball really good and just need to make the putts. I made quite a few birdies coming in, and he put himself in a few tough spots off the tee to make bogeys and pars. My golf has been really solid,” concluded the former British Open champion.
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