Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the eighth hole during round-robin play at the Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament at Austin County Club, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay
March 24, 2017

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

4:30 p.m.

Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson sure had an easy time getting to the round of 16 in Match Play.

Johnson is the No. 1 seed for the first time and going for his third straight PGA Tour victory. He shot 30 on the front nine and beat PGA champion Jimmy Walker, 5 and 3. Johnson hasn't played the 17th or 18th holes at Austin Country Club in any of his three matches. In the 46 holes he has played over three days, he has led after every one of them, from the first hole of every match.

Mickelson won, 6 and 5, over J.B. Holmes. In his three matches, Mickelson has led after 41 of the 42 holes he has played. Mickelson has yet to play the 16th, 17th and 18th holes this week. He says that might be a problem, but the trade-off has been conserving energy.


3:30 p.m.

Bill Haas provided another reminder to never count him out when he's in a hazard.

Haas was in a sudden-death playoff with K.T. Kim when he pulled his second shot on No. 2 into a hazard. He took a penalty drop 120 feet from the hole, while Kim had 20 feet for birdie.

Haas holed the chip for a par, Kim missed his birdie putt, and Haas finally won the match on the sixth extra hole.

It was an unlikely escape for Haas, and brought back memories of winning the Tour Championship in 2011 when he saved par from the water left of the 17th green at East Lake .

Charles Howell III won a three-man playoff on the fifth extra hole over Rafa Cabrera Bello. It was a big win for Howell, though he needs to win two more matches Saturday to have a chance to get into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters.


2:45 p.m.

Tyrrell Hatton had a Friday to forget at the Match Play.

First, he lost his third-round match against Rafa Cabrera Bello. Then, he was eliminated from a three-man playoff when he accidentally nudged his ball on the green and did not replace it.

Hatton narrowly missed his birdie chance on the first extra hole. He went to tap in, but the ball moved slightly forward when he placed his putter down. Under a local rule, such accidental movement is no longer a penalty provided the player replaces his ball.

Hatton instead tapped in.

Rules official Steve Carman arrived, confirmed the details and Hatton received a two-shot penalty. His par became a double bogey. Cabrera Bello and Charles Howell III resumed the playoff without him.

Hatton says he didn't know the rule: ''I really wasn't thinking at that stage.''


2 p.m.

Given another chance, Kevin Na advanced to the weekend at the Match Play.

As if match play wasn't quirky enough, the round-robin format added a bizarre element Friday at Austin Country Club. Na only needed to halve his match against Chris Wood to win his group. But he blew a 4-up lead by losing seven holes in an eight-hole stretch. That put him in a playoff against Matt Fitzpatrick, who went from 2 down to a 2-up victory with four straight birdies.

Fitzpatrick and Na finished 2-1-0 in their group. Momentum was with Fitzpatrick. But they had to wait some two hours to start their sudden-death playoff. On the first hole, Na stuffed a wedge to 3 feet for birdie and advanced.

Two other playoffs were underway.

Bill Haas chipped in from 100 feet for par on the second hole to stay alive. Pat Perez, Lee Westwood and Marc Leishman were on their second extra hole.

1:15 p.m.

Jason Day says his mother's lung cancer surgery in Ohio has gone well.

In a text message delivered by his agent, Day says his mother is resting comfortably and that doctors are optimistic about her recovery.

Dening Day was diagnosed at the start of the year in Australia, and the initial prognosis was that she had 12 months to live. Day brought his mother to Ohio for more tests. The surgery was at The James Cancer Institute at the Ohio State University.

Day withdrew from the Dell Technologies Match Play after six holes Wednesday because he wanted to be with her for the surgery.


12:55 p.m.

Jon Rahm won the battle of Spain for a spot in the knockout stage of Match Play.

The Spanish rookie seized control with two birdies around the turn for a 3-up lead on Sergio Garcia, and he closed out Garcia on the 14th hole. This makes six straight years Garcia didn't make it beyond the third round.

Garcia surely knew it was over on the 13th hole when he was trying to drive the green over the water in a steady rain. The driver slipped out of his hands, and the tee shot squirted left about 30 feet and into the hazard.

Meanwhile, Marc Leishman gets to play on Friday after all. He won by forfeit against Jason Day, who withdrew on Wednesday. But when Lee Westwood beat Pat Perez, all three of them finished 2-1-0 in group play and were headed for a playoff.


12:05 p.m.

At least two groups are headed for playoffs in the Match Play, and there likely will be more.

Bill Haas defeated K.T. Kim, and now faces him in a sudden-death playoff to advance to the weekend. Head-to-head matches do not apply in deciding who advances.

Kevin Na, who only needed a halve to advance, was 4 up through seven holes when Chris Wood won the next six holes and eventually the match. Na goes to a playoff against Matt Fitzpatrick, who staged a big rally of his own. Justin Thomas was 2 up with five holes to play when Fitzpatrick birdied the next four holes and won the match.

Playoffs do not start until after all the scheduled matches on the course. That means Haas and Kim will wait nearly two hours for their playoff to begin.

Two years ago at Harding Park, seven matches went extra holes and cut in front of matches that were ready to start. Tournament officials felt it was unfair for players to warm up for a match and then have to wait some 30 minutes to tee off.


10:45 p.m.

Phil Mickelson has made it past the third round of the Dell Technologies Match Play for the first time since 2004.

J.B. Holmes didn't make a birdie until the 12th hole, and all that did was extend the match. Mickelson closed him out on the next hole, 6 and 5, and won his group with a 3-0 record.

Mickelson last made it past the third round when the Match Play was single elimination. He lost to Davis Love III in the quarterfinals. That was so long ago that Nick Price, Colin Montgomerie, Jeff Sluman and Fred Couples were among those in the field, and Tiger Woods had just begun work with a new swing coach, Hank Haney.

Lefty now advances to the knockout stage this weekend at Austin Country Club.


10:15 a.m.

Phil Mickelson is off to a strong start in his bid to get beyond the third round of the Dell Technologies Match Play for the first time in 13 years.

Mickelson won the opening three holes in his match against J.B. Holmes. He needs only to halve the match to advance out of group play. Eight other players, including No. 1 seed Dustin Johnson, face the same scenario Friday at Austin Country Club.

Because of three players withdrawing throughout the week, Soren Kjeldsen and Alex Noren already won their group and did not have to deal with the rain. Neither did Marc Leishman, who was to play Jason Day.

Leishman lost Thursday to Pat Perez. If Perez loses his third-round match, he would play Leishman in a sudden-death playoff.

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