Jim Furyk defeated Harris English 1-up in the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Furyk will play Rickie Fowler in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
English was 3-up through the first six holes, but Furyk fought back to be 1-down through 10. Both players halved the par-five 11th with birdies, and Furyk made a nine-footer for birdie on 12 to square the match.
Furyk parred 14 to take a 1-up lead, and English birdied 15 to square the match after hitting a beautiful three-wood in front of the green on the driveable par-4.
16 was the turning point of the match, and Furyk spoke about his chip-in to win the hole, and take a 1-up lead:
I was really just trying to run it down close. It wasn’t one of those you could be aggressive and try to knock it in…And I also felt like I hit a couple of shots out of the short cut that had a lot of spin on them. So I was expecting that second shot to kind of come out and check, and then trickle over that ridge. It did not. It did not come out with the spin I expected. It was a little firm, that ball probably would have rolled a good ten feet by. And I was fortunate that it hit the pin and went in. I’m looking at a 1‑up lead, or if it misses the pin I’ve got a 10‑footer to stay [all square] in the match.
Both players hit it close on 17, and halved the hole with birdies.
18 is a serious risk-reward driving hole due to the bunker in the middle of the fairway, but English decided to lay back, and Furyk hit the fairway as usual. Because they were so far back, they hit decent shots to about 40 feet, and halved the hole with two-putts, giving Furyk the 1-up victory.