Johnson stays ideal, McIlroy eliminated at Match Play

Mickelson cruised past J.B. Holmes, 6 and 5, on Friday to advance to the Round of 16. Kjeldsen was to play Woodland in the third round, so he was assured of winning the group at 3-0.

"Everybody in the field knew it was going to be a very challenging day so you change the way you play certain holes", Spieth said.

It was the fourth time in the last three years that he withdrew in the middle of a tournament.

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.

These are the vagaries of Match Play, even in a round-robin format created to keep the 64-man field around for at least three days. 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. The semifinals and finals are set for Sunday.

The first round was suspended when showers turned into heavy rain at Coco Beach Golf & Country Club and the course became too wet.

World number four Hideki Matsuyama was also mathematically eliminated from the round-of-16, losing to Englishman Ross Fisher 2&1 a day after halving his opening match. Mickelson was just right of the green, and it was so fast that he chipped into the water.

Jason Day withdrew on Wednesday to be by his mother's side as she fights lung cancer. If Leishman wins, he advances out of the group.

Day cites his mother Dening as the main reason he plays golf, and is now taking a break from the sport to aid her recovery.

Another play-off was required in group six between England's Matt Fitzpatrick and Kevin Na after remarkable turnarounds in both of their matches.

Spieth stayed in the game with a 4-and-2 victory over Yuta Ikeda. In fact, Mickelson showed up to Austin a year ago having not competed at the Match Play since 2011.

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

National Football League owners will consider proposals next week to cut regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10; eliminate players leaping over the line on kick plays; and expansion of coaches' challenges and what can be reviewed by officials. He is one of 14 players who are 2-0 heading into the final round of the round-robin matches.

Still, Rahm scrambled to save par to halve the hole with Sergio - and the Spaniards are all-square in their match through two holes.

  • Julie Sanders