Austin [US], March 26 (ANI): Rory McIlroy will meet Lucas Herbert in the last 16 of the 2023 World Golf Championship Match Play after both players maintained their 100 per cent records with impressive victories on Friday. World Number Three McIlroy beat Keegan Bradley in a repeat of their 2012 Ryder Cup singles clash at Austin Country Club.
The Northern Irishman got off to a lightning-quick start in Friday's final group match, going 3UP in the first seven holes to pile the pressure on American Bradley. The four-time Major Champion produced a great escape after finding the water on the par-five 12th, getting up and down to tie the hole and remain three clear.
Australian Herbert, meanwhile, held off a fightback from Ben Griffin to win 3 and 1 and secure his third successive victory.
Max Homa became the first player to reach the last 16 on day three after his opponent - 2021 Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama - withdrew before their meeting with a neck injury.
Defending champion Scottie Scheffler maintained his phenomenal record at this event - where he has finished second and first in the last two editions - with a three-hole victory over Tom Kim.
World Number One Scheffler will face fellow American J.T. Poston after he beat Maverick McNealy 31 to preserve his own perfect record this week.
Billy Horschel also made it through to the weekend after storming to a 5 and 4 win over Jon Rahm with his birdie at the 14th to go 5UP with four to play, setting up a last-16 meeting with countryman Cameron Young.
Kurt Kitayama holed a lengthy birdie putt to win a three-man playoff and will meet American Andrew Putnam in the round of 16 after he recorded three successive victories.
The Asian challenge at the World Golf Championships Match Play ended in the group stage with all five golfers - Si Woo Kim, Sungjae Im, Tom Kim, K.H. Lee and Hideki Matsuyama - bowing out on Friday.
Entering the final round-robin group matches, Si Woo Kim was the best placed to advance after garnering two impressive wins in Group 8 but he fell to a 7 and 6 defeat to American veteran star Matt Kuchar, who tied Tiger Woods' tournament record of having the most match victories at 36.
Tom Kim, making his first appearance in the event, needed to beat defending champion Scottie Scheffler to force a playoff in Group 1 but the American World No. 1 proved too good as the home favourite produced a 3 and 2 victory to advance into the Round of 16. (ANI)