AUSTIN, Texas — In a showdown that turned sloppy, Patrick Reed nearly holed a wedge to seize control and finished off Jordan Spieth with a 40-foot birdie putt from behind the 17th green to advance to the weekend of the Dell Technologies Match Play.

The 2-and-1 victory sent Spieth home in search of his game with the Masters just two weeks away.

Spieth hit his opening tee shot onto the range and out of bounds. He hit into a hazard on each of the next two holes. And after he finally caught Reed with consecutive shots to tap-in range, he missed two key putts inside 6 feet.

“I don’t think it would have been that tough to beat me today,” Spieth said.

Reed was tough enough, twirling a wedge in his hands as it cut into the wind and grazed the front edge of the cup on the 13th hole for a 2-up lead. Spieth, who three-putted for the third time on No. 15 to fall 3 down, stayed alive with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 16th and looked as though he might have a chance to go the distance when Reed’s putt was racing toward the cup at the 17th. The cup got in the way, however, and all Spieth could do was smile.

Justin Thomas (No. 2) and Sergio Garcia (No. 7) were the only top-10 seeds to advance to the fourth round. Thomas had the easiest time, with a 7-and-5 victory over Francesco Molinari. And with defending champion Dustin Johnson already eliminated, Thomas can go to No. 1 in the world rankings if he wins this weekend.


Paul Casey was eliminated when he lost to Matt Fitzpatrick, then lost a playoff against Kyle Stanley.

Rory McIlroy was knocked out when he lost to Brian Harman, and Phil Mickelson was eliminated when Charles Howell III, who beat Mickelson on Wednesday, completed a 3-0 mark in group play by beating Satoshi Kodaira.

The tightest match was Alex Noren against Tony Finau, who each won their first two matches. Finau won three straight holes on the back nine to take a 1-up lead, only to lose the 14th with a bogey. With the match all square, Noren made a 10-foot birdie at the 17th, then holed a 15-foot par putt on the final hole to avoid going to a playoff.

Other group play winners were Ian Poulter, Tyrrell Hatton, Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Kisner, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Cameron Smith.

Kuchar made a hole-in-one in a 6-and-4 victory over Ross Fisher.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo finished last in the 132-man field in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, bogeying the first six holes in a 10-under 82.


With a 15-over total for his two rounds, he was 28 strokes behind leader Brice Garnett, who followed his opening 63 with a 68 to get to 13-under 131.

Steve Wheatcroft and Keith Mitchell were a shot back, each after their second 66.

LPGA: Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend in Carlsbad, California.

Kerr, 40, had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131.

Kerr has 20 career victories and won this event in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead in the Rapiscan Systems Classic in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round. Because of wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back, and Steve Stricker was third at 68.

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