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WGC Match Play: Tommy Fleetwood’s ace sets up last-16 victory in Austin as Ian Poulter bows out

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Tommy Fleetwood matches Sergio Garcia with hole-in-one at the fourth hole at Austin Country Club; Ian Poulter and Bob MacIntyre both beaten at the last-16 stage but Garcia through; watch the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play live on Sky Sports Golf this weekend

Tommy Fleetwood made a hole-in-one at the fourth hole during his last-16 clash with Dylan Frittelli at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Tommy Fleetwood made a hole-in-one at the fourth on his way to a 4&3 victory over Dylan Frittelli in the last 16 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Sergio Garcia made a stunning ace at the same 179-yard par-three to clinch a play-off win over Lee Westwood at Austin Country Club on Friday evening and Fleetwood followed his example in the first match on Saturday morning to make it back-to-back aces at the hole.

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WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

The 30-year-old’s tee shot with a seven-iron landed around 10 feet past the pin and rolled straight back down the slope and into the hole.

Fleetwood’s celebrations were somewhat muted on the tee but the ace put him 2up against Frittelli after the South African had won the previous hole following a flying start by the Englishman which had seen him win the opening two holes.

“The thing about match play is I might have won [the hole], but it was just on to the next hole and try and kick on. I might think about it later. But, yeah, it was a great shot,” said Fleetwood after wrapping up the win.

Fleetwood extended his advantage with a birdie at the par-five sixth and went 4up after hitting his approach to seven feet at the par-four 10th.

Frittelli managed to reduce the deficit with a birdie at the par-five 12th but another excellent approach shot to four feet at the par-four 15th sealed a match-winning birdie for Fleetwood.

“I hit it really good. Anything like the fourth is a bonus, but still I hit really good solid golf shots. I just kept doing the right things really and holed out really well throughout the day,” added Fleetwood, who now plays Billy Horschel in the quarter-finals later on Saturday.

Horschel defeated fellow American Kevin Streelman 3&1 after taking command with birdies to win the opening two holes.

Ian Poulter had cemented his Match Play reputation with three wins from three group matches, but he ran into a man in even better form in the last 16 in the shape of American Scottie Scheffler as the tournament debutant wrapped up a 5&4 triumph.

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Poulter holed a couple of testing par putts as the first two holes were halved before Scheffler edged in front with a birdie at the third after hitting his approach to seven feet.

Scheffler doubled his advantage in similar fashion at the eighth and then holed a 16-foot birdie putt to take the 10th.

Ian Poulter was overshadowed by Scottie Scheffler in their last-16 clash in Texas Ian Poulter was overshadowed by Scottie Scheffler in their last-16 clash in Texas

But the hammer blow for Poulter came at the par-three 11th where the Englishman drained a 41-foot birdie putt only to see Scheffler chip in from off the green for a half, which he made the most of by holing a 13-foot birdie putt at the next that Poulter was unable to match from a slightly shorter distance.

It was then all over at the 14th when Poulter missed from six feet for par.

Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre reached the last 16 after winning a group which also featured world No 1 Dustin Johnson, but he ran into an in-form Victor Perez with the Frenchman romping to a 5&4 victory.

Perez birdied three of the first four holes as he went 2up and he was 3up after MacIntyre bogeyed the seventh.

Bob MacIntyre was no match for fellow Ryder Cup hopeful Victor Perez in their showdown Bob MacIntyre was no match for fellow Ryder Cup hopeful Victor Perez in their showdown

Further birdies at the 10th and 11th from Perez and another bogey at the 12th from MacIntyre put the Frenchman in total control at 6up and, although the Scot delayed the inevitable with a birdie at the 13th, it was all over after two pars at the 14th.

Perez now faces Garcia in an all-European last-eight clash after the Spaniard battled past Canadian Mackenzie Hughes 2&1.

Garcia took an early lead with a birdie at the first but birdies at both the fifth and sixth briefly edged Hughes in front before Garcia levelled it up with a gain at the eighth.

Back-to-back bogeys from Hughes at the ninth and 10th handed Garcia the initiative and the 41-year-old then hit a superb tee shot to 11 feet at the short par-four 13th for a conceded eagle, with Hughes then hitting his second at the 14th down a bank as he went three behind, and a birdie at the 16th was too little, too late for him.

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