While 64 players began the week at Dove Mountain, we're now down to a field of just 16. Here's how things played out Friday during the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship:
Louis Oosthuizen (8) def. Webb Simpson (5), 5 and 4: A day after dispatching with top seed Henrik Stenson, Oosthuizen kept the train rolling right along with an easy win over Simpson. The match was tied through the first six holes, but the South African won four of the next five holes to take command and became the first player to advance to the quarterfinals.
Jason Day (2) def. George Coetzee (14), 3 and 1: The Aussie had to go the distance in both of his first two wins, but Friday's victory was somewhat easier, as he led from the third hole onward. Day kept Coetzee at bay with a quartet of back-nine birdies, including a conceded birdie on No. 17 to clinch the match. He'll now face Oosthuizen in the quarterfinals, a matchup of two men who were Presidents Cup teammates last October at Muirfield Village.
Jim Furyk (5) def. Harris English (9), 1 up: This was a well-played match for the most part, though English appeared poised for another win when he grabbed a 3-up lead through six holes. Furyk slowly made up the deficit, squaring the match on No. 12 and taking his first lead two holes later. After birdies on Nos. 16 and 17, Furyk was able to close out one of the game's rising stars with a four-footer for par on the final hole. With the win, the former Arizona Wildcat advances to the fourth round for the first time in this event.
Rickie Fowler (14) def. Sergio Garcia (2), 1 up: In easily the strangest match of the week, Garcia offered a surprising concession early in the match. It came back to bite him, as the Spaniard coughed up a 3-up advantage and Fowler finally took his first lead of the day when he stuffed his approach to the 18th. Garcia may get sportsmanship points, but Fowler is the one moving on to face Furyk Saturday in an all-American quarterfinal.
Victor Dubuisson (7) def. Bubba Watson (3), 1 up: Dubuisson won each of the first two holes Friday and never trailed in the match, but Watson certainly didn't go quietly. The former Masters champ followed an eagle on No. 15 with a birdie two holes later to trim his deficit to just 1 down, but ultimately Watson was undone by an errant approach on the final hole. When his chip from off the green failed to drop, the Frenchman was able to advance by the slimmest of margins.
Graeme McDowell (4) def. Hunter Mahan (8), 21 holes: McDowell continues to defy convention this week, as he won for the third straight day despite the fact that he has yet to tee off while leading in a match. Mahan held a 2-up lead through 16 holes but the Ulsterman rallied to force overtime, then holed a 15-footer on the second extra hole to extend the match. He ended it minutes later after Mahan found some trouble, and McDowell will now play Dubuisson Saturday in a match that guarantees Europe will have a representative in the semifinals.
Jordan Spieth (3) def. Matt Kuchar (2), 2 and 1: As defending champion, Kuchar proved a difficult out but even he couldn't overcome a birdie barrage from Spieth. The 20-year-old made nine birdies through 17 holes Friday, the final tally proving to be the knockout blow that snapped Kuchar's eight-match winning streak in this event. Spieth now moves on to the quarters, once again proving his ability to exceed even the loftiest of expectations against some of the game's best.
Ernie Els (8) def. Jason Dufner (4), 1 up: Els faced an early deficit, losing two of the first three holes to Dufner, but the South African was able to square things quickly and did not trail after the fifth hole. Els failed to break par for the second straight day, but like his match against Justin Rose he did just enough to secure the win, closing out Dufner after his wedge to the final green ended up within three feet of the hole. He moves on to face Spieth, a player 24 years his junior.