Scott makes first appearance in top 16 since 2005

Adam Scott will advance to the Round of 16 at the WGC Dell World Match Play Championship in Austin in Texas after heading his group in the round robin phase.

Scott, today defeated Jordan Spieth 3&2 after never being behind in his match against the 11th seed having earlier defeated Justin Rose and sharing honours with Keegan Bradley.

It is the first time Scott has reached the final 16 since the 2005 version of the event when he finished 5th.

“I felt it was good,” said Scott. “I mean, a bit of a shaky match with Justin. Neither of us played particularly well, but I played well in the next two. Now kind of have a run at it over the weekend and see what happens. I feel like I’ve got everything I need ahead of the Masters, obviously. Even though there’s a great event on the line this weekend, everyone is thinking about Augusta, it’s so close.”

When asked how he would pace himself given the potential for 36 holes over each of the next two days and the Masters looming, should he get to the final, Scott responded; “Well, it’ll all depend how much golf is played on the weekend now for me. Going all the way next week is going to be a lot of rest and less golf, and that’s a good thing.

“That’s only a good thing because if you play deep in the weekend the confidence will be high, no doubt. If I only play one match, then it’s a normal week, and just carry on. But it feels good to get to the weekend. For some reason getting out of the group feels like a real accomplishment at this tournament.”

While it was joy for Scott it was agony for his fellow Australian and event debutante, Lucas Herbert.

Herbert needed to defeat rising Japan superstar Takumi Kanaya in today’s final match in his group after earlier defeating Tony Finau and Xander Schaufelle.

Herbert was never in his match against Kanaya, however, eventually losing 5&4 and so the pair advanced a playoff to decide who would emerge from the group to play Corey Conners in the Round of 16, both having won twice in their preliminary matches.

Herbert appeared to have the inside running when he found the fairway from the tee while Kanaya could only pitch out after a wild drive finished near the lip of a fairway bunker. Herbert’s approach finished 20 feet behind the hole while Kanaya recovered well hitting a pitch from 90 yards to two feet.

Herbert then proceeded to three-putt and when Kanaya saved par it was all over.

Marc Leishman and Min Woo Lee both missed out, Leishman defeating Luke List today after losses to Justin Thomas and Kevin Kisner and Lee defeating Thomas Pieters and sharing honours with Tom Hoge today after a round one loss to Billy Horschel.

The winners of each of the sixteen groups advance to a knockout match play phase, Scott to take on Kevin Kisner.

Lucas Herbert and Takumi Kanaya shake hands