AUSTIN, Texas – Brian Harman made the comeback of the morning to defeat Bubba Watson at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and advance to the quarterfinals, but before his afternoon match against Matt Kuchar he had something else to celebrate.
Having started the week 59th in the world ranking, Harman’s 2-and-1 victory over Watson assured that he is currently projected to move into the top 50 on Monday and earn an invitation to the Masters.
“It's pretty special,” he said. “I thought if I got out of the group [stage] I had a chance, and then I was kind of looking at it and knew I had to win today. Feels pretty good.”
Harman, who is from Savannah, Georgia, last played the Masters in 2018 and he’s playing his best golf of the season following a tie for third at The Players Championship and three consecutive victories at Austin Country Club since a Day 1 loss to Patrick Cantlay.
He was 4 down to Watson early on Saturday, but made eight consecutive birdies to pull away.
Kevin Streelman (58th) and Erik van Rooyen (68th) also needed to advance out of the quarterfinals to crack the top 50 but both lost their Sweet 16 match.