Spieth, Reed advance in Match Play golf — Sports Digest

Jordan Spieth

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They are 1-1 versus one another in PGA Tour playoffs, with Reed hitting through the greens to short birdie range when he won the Wyndham Championship in 2013, and Spieth returning the favor in 2015 at Innisbrook by winning a playoff with a 30-foot putt.

Spieth, meanwhile, will have the weekend off before playing next week's Houston Open, where he will have a chance to sort out his game in time for the April 5-8 Masters.

And it doesn't include Spieth, who now has gone seven tournaments since his last top 10.

What should be most compelling is the gamesmanship we're likely to see from Spieth and Reed, especially when it comes to gimmes - a staple of match play. Poulter was 3 up when Chappell conceded the match at the turn.

JOCKEY DIES: Jose Flores, 56, who won 4,650 races in a career that spanned more than three decades, died of injuries suffered Monday in a racing accident at Parx, a suburban Philadelphia track. "And there's been times in the first Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup match where I had it going and rolling". The way I played, I figured it was going to be a good match to the end. And when he finally caught Reed with consecutive shots to tap-in range, he missed two key putts inside six feet.

It will be a battle between the measured cool of Spieth, who plays well on Madison Avenue, and the combustible, fist-pumping Reed, who can play well in a dark alley. Johnson lost for the second straight day, this time a 4-and-3 defeat to Canadian Adam Hadwin. Fitzpatrick beat him, 3 and 2.

Spieth dodged trouble early against Li Haotong, who missed putts inside 8 feet on two of the opening three holes, won the second hole when Spieth hit into the hazard, and thought he won the fourth hole until Spieth matched his birdie by chipping in from short of the green.

Phil Mickelson went 2-1 in the group stage but failed to move on.

There are no head-to-head tiebreakers, so they went to a sudden-death playoff.

- Matt Kuchar made a hole-in-one in a 6-and-4 victory over Ross Fisher to advance to the weekend for the second time in three years. They were all square through 14 holes. "That's just nerves, and hopefully you can get that out of the way and get a couple of swings that you aren't used to doing and come back and play better tomorrow". Howell won the group and kept alive his hopes for getting into the top 50 to earn a spot in the Masters.

Mickelson is coming off a victory in the last World Golf Championship in Mexico City, and found himself lacking energy and enthusiasm in his loss to Howell, and in fall behind to Kodaira.

A Spieth bogey at the eighth restored Reed's two-hole advantage, but that was completely erased by successive birdies from the Texan on the ninth and 10th. He took control of the match at the par-4 13th, slamming his approach to two feet and making the birdie putt.

Bubba Watson birdied his last two holes to earn a halve against Julian Suri and avoid a playoff. Thomas topped Patton Kizzire 3 and 1 to make Kizzire 0-2. His intention was to "shock the world", much like No. 64 seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Brian Harman has defeated Rory McIlroy to become the first player to reach the weekend in the Dell Technologies Match Play. Jason Day was also eliminated after a 1-2 showing.

But there's still a stellar group advancing.

Asked what Spieth's match play strengths were, Reed joked he carried his fellow American during their Ryder Cup partnerships in 2014 and 2016.

The cup got in the way, and all Spieth could do was smile.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Olympic gold medalists Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany set a world record as they claimed their first world title as a pair with a flawless program packed with daring and grace at Assago, Italy.

Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren and Justin Thomas also are in matches between undefeated players.

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