Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood had halved the first three holes of their sudden-death playoff on Friday at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. Garcia would try to win on the fourth. He was going at the flag. He wasn’t going for the center of the green. The pin was well up on the 160-yard par-3 at Austin Country Club, and should Garcia hit it short, he’d likely be done.
“One club less here, a 9, which isn’t a surprise,” analyst Notah Begay said on the Golf Channel broadcast. “Garcia has an uncanny ability to get a lot out of his irons. We’ve seen that over the years. With that hole in that dangerous location, I think he’s going for it here. Try to put an end to it with one good shot.”
Garcia hit his 9, his ball landed about a foot behind the hole, and it rolled back and in.
A walk-off ace. He put an end to it with one good shot.
“Solid, sweet and accurate,” analyst Nick Faldo said on the broadcast.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Garcia said after his round. “Obviously, yeah, a hole in one is amazing. But you know, the two putts I made on 2 and 3, massive, to keep myself going. And then obviously the shot on 4, it’s a great shot, but then you get lucky that first of all it doesn’t hit the flag because it must have been very close to hitting the flag, and then it rolls back in.
“Obviously very happy about that.”
Westwood and Garcia had parred the first three holes of the Group 8 playoff, then Westwood hit first on the fourth, landing his ball 26 feet from the hole. Each had gone 2-1 in pool play — Westwood won on Friday, while Garcia lost — and Garcia will now play Mackenzie Hughes in Saturday’s round of 16.
Garcia, after his ace, slapped hands with Westwood, Westwood’s caddie and Garcia’s caddie. His wife, Angela Akins Garcia, would meet up with him just right of the tee box.
“That’s well done,” she said.