WGC Matchplay: Richard Bland Eyes First Masters Invitation | Seamus Power’s revival seals Augusta’s place | Golf News – NewsRaiser

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Richard Bland defeats Lee Westwood to advance to a playoff match against Dustin Johnson at WGC Match Play.

Richard Bland defeats Lee Westwood to advance to a playoff match against Dustin Johnson at WGC Match Play.

Richard Bland will make his Masters debut at age 49 after reaching the last 16 of the WGC-Dell Technologies matchplay.

Bland beat Lee Westwood 2&1, 48, to the top of Group 9 and secured a knockout round berth at the Austin Country Club.

The Englishman now meets former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson in the round of 16 and a strong performance this weekend could see him move into the world top 50 before Monday’s deadline for an Augusta National invite to get the first major of the year.

Richard Bland reflects on his win over Lee Westwood to make the playoffs against Dustin Johnson.

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Richard Bland reflects on his win over Lee Westwood to make the playoffs against Dustin Johnson.

Richard Bland reflects on his win over Lee Westwood to make the playoffs against Dustin Johnson.

“I need the afternoon,” Bland said. “Me and Lee joked that whoever gets it right probably wins.

“I’ve known Lee for a long time, he’s a legend in the sport and it was very special to compete against him and have one.

“It’s 18 holes, but if I play like I know I can play [Johnson has] has a game on his hands. »

Defending champion Billy Horschel scored a grandstand seat today and became the first player in the round of 16.

Defending champion Billy Horschel has moved into the preliminary round

Defending champion Billy Horschel has moved into the preliminary round

Thomas Pieters had lost two holes before the game against Horschel and appeared on course to secure the win that would stage a play-off between the two to determine the Group 12 winner.

However, Horschel shagged on the 17th and conceded another goal on the last after Pieters just missed his own birdie.

“Thomas came in today and played a great round of golf,” said Horschel. “I think he probably shot four, five under maybe, didn’t bogey at all.

“I played really solid except on two holes where I hit a pitching wedge in the water on three which is just a bad, bad swing, then another bad swing at 13 with a three iron off the tee just to to try to get it into the hole fairway.

Xander Schauffele loses his ball in a wood crevice as he approaches the 12th par-5 on the WGC World Matchplay.

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Xander Schauffele loses his ball in a wood crevice as he approaches the 12th par-5 on the WGC World Matchplay.

Xander Schauffele loses his ball in a wood crevice as he approaches the 12th par-5 on the WGC World Matchplay.

“But other than that, I stuck with it. I got some really good quality shots. Losing two, two to go and knowing that I only needed one half to advance to the knockout rounds is a real boost of confidence to play the last two rounds left. »

Horschel meets Scottie Scheffler in the round of 16 in a repeat of last year’s final after Scheffler defeated Matt Fitzpatrick on the sixth hole of a sudden death shootoff.

Scheffler’s 5-4 win over Fitzpatrick left the pair two points at the top of Group 5. After waiting more than two and a half hours for the remaining games to begin, they began with birdies on the first hole.

Both players also shagged on the fifth before Scheffler shagged another on the sixth par-5 to progress.

Scottie Scheffler managed to defeat Matt Fitzpatrick with this sudden death winner at WGC World Matchplay.

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Scottie Scheffler managed to defeat Matt Fitzpatrick with this sudden death winner at WGC World Matchplay.

Scottie Scheffler managed to defeat Matt Fitzpatrick with this sudden death winner at WGC World Matchplay.

Tommy Fleetwood could have made it to a three-way shootoff with a win over Ian Poulter but lost 4 and 3 to his Ryder Cup teammate.

World No. 1 Jon Rahm won Group 1 despite losing to Patrick Reed and meets Brooks Koepka in the round of 16 after four-time Major winner defeated Shane Lowry last to maintain his record 100%.

Tyrrell Hatton has won three out of three matches with a hard-fought win over Daniel Berger and meets Irishman Seamus Power in the round of 16.

Power Revival seals Masters top spot

A year after being listed outside of the world’s top 450, Power cemented his place in the top 50 to earn a maiden Masters appearance.

Power lost his last group game in the WGC-Dell Technologies matchplay against Keith Mitchell, but Patrick Cantlay’s victory over Sungjae Im allowed Powerstill to lead the fourth group after their previous wins against Cantlay and Im.

That means the 35-year-old from Waterford will face England’s Hatton early in the knockout stages, knowing he’ll be handed an invite to the first major of the year.

This time last year, Power bounced back and forth between events on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour before earning his decisive win at the Barbasol Championship in July.

Seamus Power continued his revival, reaching the last 16 in matchplay

Seamus Power continued his revival, reaching the last 16 in matchplay

“Obviously my golf has improved, that has changed,” said Power. “It doesn’t seem that difficult on the golf course.

“I had to figure out some things with my game and I was able to figure that out and make some improvements with holds and putts and things like that.

“The margins here are so small. Even this week obviously the top finishers are favoured, but it’s just like one shot a round, maybe they could be better than everyone else.

“Those things are small margins, so if you could make one less mistake, one less good shot, one fewer putt or one more putt, and the whole shape of your career can change. »

WGC Final Sixteen draw

Scottie Scheffler (5) vs. Billy Horschel (12)

Seamus Power (42) vs. Tyrrell Hatton (13)

Dustin Johnson (8) vs. Richard Bland (54)

John Rahm (1) vs. Brooks Koepka (16)

Kevin Kisner (29) vs Adam Scott (32)

Will Zalatoris (24) vs. Kevin Na (25)

Takumi Kanaya (56) vs. Corey Conners (36)

Collin Morikawa (2) vs. Abraham Ancer (15)

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