Date: March 30, 2019
Author: Martin Blake

Red hot Leishman into matchplay knockout

 

A red hot Marc Leishman has progressed to the round of 16 at the World Golf Championship matchplay event undefeated after he wiped the floor with brilliant American Bryson De Chambeau in Texas today.

Leishman beat the world No. 6 easily, five and four, needing just 14 holes to secure his berth in the next round and set up a clash with South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

A two-putt at the par-four 14th was enough for the third-round win, the Australian having beaten Scotsman Russell Knox and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the first two matches of the round robin. The man from Warrnambool, seeded 17th this week at Austin Country Club, made four birdies and an eagle in the first six holes of the match to reach a four-up lead, and was never threatened from that point. He was six under through 14 holes today.

From here on, though, it is sudden death, and Oosthuizen, who whipped Tommy Fleetwood four and three today, also is in hot form.

Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods is also through to the next round, and he plays the unbeaten Rory McIlroy in the marquee match tomorrow morning. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and South Africa’s Branden Grace also went through the round robin undefeated.

Among those to miss out on the knockout phase were world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Spain’s Jon Rahm along with world No. 5 Justin Thomas.

Jason Day lost his third consecutive match, this time to Phil Mickelson, in what has been a worrying lead-up to the Masters in less than two weeks’ time. Fellow-Queenslander Cameron Smith had already lost his chance of progressing and was trailing early against England’s Paul Casey.

Meanwhile in Mexico Australia’s Aaron Baddeley is in a strong position through two rounds of the Corales tournament in the Dominican Republic.

Baddeley shot a second-round 67 to be tied-second, just a shot from the lead. First-round joint leader Matt Jones slid to eighth after taking a taking a nine at the par-four 10th hole.