With defending champion and world number one Dustin Johnson crashing out in the group stages, Thomas needed to reach the final at Austin Country Club to move to the top of the rankings for the first time. Reed posted a 3-0-0 record in their group while Spieth went 2-1-0.
"I wish I was hanging around for the weekend but I'll rest up and get a little bit of work in before going to Augusta".
"Bay Hill was tiring. I feel like I'm getting there this week". "It's great to get a win early and I've got all that great stuff to fall back on from how I handled everything on Sunday". "I'm going out there this afternoon, and I was like, 'Man, I have got a chance of doing this, too.' Then I missed a 3-footer on 2 and shot that out the window".
Birdies on the opening and fifth holes gave Watson an early 2-up lead and then a sublime approach from near trees on the par-5 6th set up an eagle to go 3-up.
Each player will play two matches no matter what on Sunday.
Rory McIlroy knocked out of WGC Match Play in Texas
Regardless, we have quite a group of semifinalists ready to go Sunday morning and hoping for an afternoon date in the final. Schauffele was two-up by the third, but successive birdies by Sharma on fourth and fifth brought the match to all square.
Following the first three days of pool play that saw several top seeds cleared out of the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, we now have a clear-cut favorite to win this event after Saturday morning's round of 16.
But if a JT vs. Noren final would be the ideal Ryder Cup primer, the dream match up for Thomas in the championship tilt might be Kisner. "There were probably 15 or so people that watched me play nine holes, and you find those 15 people and see if they thought I was ready to play in a golf tournament".
Garcia had come through the group stage unscathed with three wins out of three against Xander Schauffele, Dylan Frittelli and Shubhankar Sharma. I hadn't won in the past 18 months and it was a real validation. "I made some good putts, a lot of those short to mid-range putts".
Peter Uihlein seized control around the turn at Austin Country Club, winning the ninth hole with a birdie and the 10th hole when McIlroy made bogey.
"I couldn't stop thinking about it, to be perfectly honest", Thomas said. "Just play your opponent".
"I'm human and I'm realistic that based on the way the year's gone.it's been kind of a trying time for me, especially on and round the greens", Spieth said.
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