Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson among semifinalists at WGC-Dell Match Play

Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson among semifinalists at WGC-Dell Match Play

Thomas was not at his best Saturday, but he was good enough to luck up a 2&1 victory over fellow American Kyle Stanley which gives the No. 2 player in the world a shot at his eighth win in the past year.

The American needs to win the tournament to replace Dustin Johnson at the top of the world rankings. "I had this one (match) circled this week and I'm glad I came out and performed pretty well", added Harman, who set up a meeting with two-time Masters victor Bubba Watson.

The loss made it impossible for Johnson to progress from Group One in the round-robin phase to the weekend's knockout rounds, with Hadwin - who halved his opening match with Kevin Kisner - assured of finishing above the top seed.

"Team Kiz" could meet Thomas in Sunday's final, about 8 months after Thomas won the most recent major, the PGA Championship in Charlotte.

It was Poulter who prevailed - winning 2 and 1 - but he had led by four shots with five to play after a scintillating round that nearly saw a hole-in-one at the 11th.

"I'm optimistic that I can go ahead and do this more often".

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Thomas' feat of winning all three of his group matches was replicated by several other players competing at the prestigious event, including Spaniard Sergio Garcia and American Patrick Reed. "It was rubbish", said Poulter, who didn't make a birdie. Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler are skipping Match Play for the second straight year. 'I turned 2 up through nine and just kept putting pressure on him. Justin Thomas pasted Si Woo Kim 6 and 5 to follow up a blowout over Francesco Molinari on Friday and beatings of Luke List and Patton Kizzire before that.

"When things are not going great I try and think of (Azalea) and it brings a smile to my face", Garcia said. Noren has had a pair of close calls this year, losing in a playoff at Torrey Pines and finishing one shot out of a playoff that Thomas won at the Honda Classic. When he arrived Monday, he wasn't sure whether he would be able to play, though it got progressively better, and so did his game.

In Group 10, Kyle Stanley plays Russell Henley and the victor can get into a playoff as long as Paul Casey loses.

Regardless, we have quite a group of semifinalists ready to go Sunday morning and hoping for an afternoon date in the final. Now that will have to wait. And he won the 18th hole when he drove just short of the 18th green, chipped to 7 feet and holed the birdie putt.

The world's No. 1 player was eliminated from his group Thursday when he lost, 4 and 3, to Adam Hadwin of Canada.

"You can actually gain a little bit of an advantage if you're first coming into the green and, for me, I've played with Rory enough times to know that I can't keep up with him off the tee box".