Shane Lowry resists fightback to knock Jordan Spieth out of WGC-Dell Match Play
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Shane Lowry held off a spirited fightback from Jordan Spieth to send the three-time major winner crashing out of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Lowry had already been eliminated following defeats by Taylor Montgomery and Mackenzie Hughes, his fifth and sixth match play losses of the year after he lost all four of his matches in January’s Hero Cup.
However, the former Open champion took advantage of an erratic display from Spieth to race into a five-hole lead at the turn and held on to complete a 2&1 victory at Austin Country Club.
Hughes thrashed Montgomery 6&5 in the other match in group 12 to set up a play-off between the pair, which Hughes won on the first hole after Montgomery fired his approach over the green and third shot into a bunker.
Hughes will face Max Homa in the last 16 after Homa had earlier advanced to the knockout stages without hitting a single shot on Friday.
Homa was due to face former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama in the final round of group matches, only for Matsuyama to withdraw before play got under way with a neck injury.
That meant Homa was credited with his third win of the week and advanced to the knockout stages for the first time.
Homa joked about enjoying another “bogey-free day” on Twitter before adding: “In all seriousness, this isn’t the way I wanted to make it through. I hope Hideki feels better soon. Golf is better when he’s playing well.”
Matsuyama later released a statement via the PGA Tour which read: “I experienced some stiffness in my neck this morning while warming up on the range, preventing me from making a full swing.
“As a precautionary measure, I decided to concede my match to Max and rest before moving on to the Valero Texas Open next week.
“I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dell Technologies and the Austin Country Club for their kind hospitality and supporting the WGC Match Play through the years.”
Two-time winner Jason Day won group nine with a 100 per cent record thanks to a 4&3 victory over Collin Morikawa, the Australian facing Matt Kuchar in the last 16 after Kuchar thrashed Si Woo Kim 7&6.