Pro misses 2-footer in Match Play playoff. Then it got a little weird.

Lucas Herbert

Lucas Herbert putts for bogey on Friday on the first hole of a playoff at the WGC-Match Play.

Golf Channel

Lucas Herbert missed from 31 inches. But would his opponent have from 22?

We’ll never know. In a somewhat odd sequence during Friday’s play at the WGC-Match Play, Herbert lipped out a par putt from just under a yard away on the first hole of a pool-play playoff with Takumi Kanaya, then he quickly missed again from 14 inches, and the match at Austin Country Club was over. Kanaya had had a par putt from just under 2 feet away, but Herbert picked up Kanaya’s mark after his second miss from close in and tossed it to him. 

“Yeah, I was thinking of going to the next hole,” Kanaya said afterward. “But, yeah, I think it was a tough finish for Lucas. Very much pressure.”

Herbert, understandably, did not talk to reporters. Still, we’re left with a couple questions that only match play can raise. 

Would Herbert have made Kanaya putt for his par if he had made his 31-inch par putt? While we don’t know, consider that Herbert did not give him the putt when Herbert earlier on the green had putted for birdie, from 17 feet, 6 inches away.  

Then there’s Herbert’s 14-inch putt. Had he made that for a five, would he have made Kanaya putt for a four? Here’s what he know for sure. After missing the 31-incher, Herbert took one step forward with his right leg, leaned over, lifted his left in the air and missed. Was he actually putting it? Or was he admitting defeat? Keep in mind, too, Herbert could have marked his 14-incher for bogey.   

On Golf Channel’s broadcast, analyst and major champion Justin Leonard believed the match was over after Herbert missed for par. 

“That next one didn’t really matter,” he said.    

Have shorter putts been missed than Kanaya’s 22-incher? Yes. But in match play, do you make someone putt a 22-incher? It depends on the player. And the situation. 

In the end, Kanaya moves on to Saturday’s round of 16. And Herbert does not. 

“My father told me when I was young, don’t give up, keep going, keep going, keep trying, don’t give up,” Kanaya said. 

Golf Magazine

Subscribe To The Magazine

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at