WGC Match Play
Hideki Matsuyama concedes final group-play match before it begins, Max Homa advances
Hideki Matsuyama makes his way to the clubhouse after losing his match to Justin Suh on Thursday at Austin Country Club.
The good news for Max Homa is that he's advancing out of group play at the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Even better? He's suddenly got a lot of extra free time in Austin. An entire Friday, in fact.
Homa was scheduled to play Hideki Matsuyama on Day 3 of the event, but the 2021 Masters champ withdrew before their 9:06 a.m. local tee time with a neck injury. And in this case, a WD is a concession.
That moved Homa to 3-0 for the week in Group 5 and into the tournament's sweet 16 for the first time in three tries. The six-time PGA Tour winner will play the winner of Group 12 (Jordan Spieth, Taylor Montgomery, and Mackenzie Hughes are all still in the hunt) on Saturday morning.
Homa was likely to advance after winning matches against Justin Suh and Kevin Kisner the first two days. Suh would have needed to beat Kisner and Homa to lose to Matsuyama today to get into a playoff. But now his match with Kisner will only help determine final prize money payouts among those who don't advance.
Matsuyama drew attention earlier in the week for an intricate putting drill he was doing on the practice green. He won his opening match against Kisner, but lost 3-and-1 to Suh on Thursday. No word was given on his status for the Masters, which starts in less than two weeks.
We'll have to wait and see what Homa does with his unexpected free time on Friday (Maybe a lazy river float?, but judging by the handshake he gave his wife to start the week, we're guessing he won't do much. The dude is locked in. And now he's locked up a spot in the bracket for the weekend.