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Frenchman Perez joins US trio in WGC Match Play semis


France’s Victor Perez joined Americans Matt Kuchar, Billy Horschel and Scottie Scheffler in the WGC Match Play semi-finals with dramatic victories Saturday, the ultimate 4 all seeded exterior the highest 30 for the primary time.

US 52nd seed Kuchar, the 2013 winner and 2019 runner-up, defeated US 54th-seeded left-hander Brian Harman 2&1 to remain excellent this week at 5-0 and advance to a Sunday semi-final towards US thirtieth seed Scheffler.

“I feel great,” Kuchar stated after sinking a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-3 seventeenth to seal the victory. “I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve been having.

“On prime of that, it has been so intense. It’s lots simpler to smile when putts are going in. Certainly there are quite a lot of nerves.”

Perez, the 31st seed who ousted Spanish 39th seed Sergio Garcia 4&3, continued a fairytale run in his WGC Match Play debut, booking a morning date with US 32nd seed Horschel in the other semi-final at Austin (Texas) Country Club.

“I believe it is the advantage of not figuring out. Sometimes ignorance is an effective factor in golf,” Perez said of his first-timer success. “I really feel like I’m going to maintain on using it.”

Horschel edged English twenty first seed Tommy Fleetwood in 19 holes whereas Scheffler outdueled Spanish third seed Jon Rahm 3&1 in the opposite quarter-finals.

“I really feel fairly snug out right here. I’m not overthinking it an excessive amount of,” Scheffler said. “Everything goes so quick out right here. It’s fairly easy, simply form of staying in the second and hit good golf pictures.”

Horschel never led until the playoff hole, the par-5 12th, where Fleetwood sent his tee shot out of bounds and Horschel holed a tense five-foot par putt to clinch the victory.

“It’s robust. Tom and I had an amazing battle all day,” Horschel said. “I knew a par would in all probability win it however this is not the simplest gap. I’m glad to win it and transfer on.”

The 18-hole final will be played Sunday afternoon.

– In the right direction –

Rahm, the only top seed to advance from the group stages, fell 3-down after five holes to Scheffler, a match-play debutant and hometown hero who ousted Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter in the morning round of 16.

“Being capable of take down these two guys… I believe my sport’s trending in the fitting route this week,” Scheffler said.

The Spaniard won the par-3 seventh with a 3-foot birdie and birdied the par-4 ninth from seven feet to pull within 1-down, but Scheffler sank a six-foot birdie at the 10th and put his approach inches from the cup to win the par-5 12th and go 3-up. Rahm only won one hole from there.

Perez, who moved to Scotland to be with his dentist girlfriend and has embraced Scottish golf culture living near St. Andrews, could eclipse his biggest career title at the 2019 European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship.

Perez dropped the first hole with a bogey but charged from there, taking the second and third on birdie putts from inside five feet, and after Garcia leveled by winning the fourth, Perez birdied to win the par-5 sixth and parred to win the eighth at go 2-up.

Garcia found water off the 13th tee and lost the hole and Perez closed him out by winning the 14th on a birdie putt from just inside 10 feet, but felt his best golf came in a 5&4 morning win over Scotsman Robert MacIntyre.

“I believe this morning was in all probability one of the best golf I’ve performed all week,” he said. “This afternoon it simply turns into a protracted day, you get a little bit bit sluggish after which you must get again and Sergio is such an amazing match participant… clearly more than happy to get on to Sunday.”

Fleetwood, who aced the par-3 fourth in a morning win over South African sixty fourth seed Dylan Frittelli, received the ninth on a 16-foot birdie putt and eleventh with a par to go 2-up.

But Horschel birdied the par-5 twelfth after an method to a few ft and sank an eight-foot birdie putt on the par-3 seventeenth to stage the match, organising the playoff.

Harman received seven consecutive holes with birdies to beat two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson in the morning and safe a berth in subsequent month’s Masters by reaching subsequent week’s world rankings prime 50.

Kuchar birdied the par-3 fourth and seventh holes to grab the lead for good and rolled in a 10-footer at 17 to finish the match.

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