Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace all won their matches in the third round of group ties to advance to the knockout stages of the event. George Coetzee despite winning his match against Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee on the third extra hole, he failed to make it to the next round. American Jim Furyk was the man to advance from Coetzee’s group.
Grace, meanwhile, had to beat Charley Hoffman 2&1 before going into a three-man playoff to decide who would advance from their group. In the playoff involving Hoffman and fellow American Zach Johnson, Grace birdied the third extra hole to put his name in the last 16.
The 26-year-old Fancourt golfer said he had to be at his best to make it through.
“It was a long day and Charley was playing well. I knew it was going to be a tough one today and I managed to play nicely on the first nine,” said Grace after the day’s play.
The pair traded blows on the front nine with eight birdies between them which kept the contest all square through nine.
“We both turned in four under par, which is pretty good around this course. Then he just kept throwing some stuff at me and I kept throwing it back right until the end.”
Schwartzel was also involved in a tight match and needed two extra holes to overcome Matt Jones of Australia. The 2011 Masters Champion, unlike Grace, was a clear winner of his group having been victorious in all three of his matches to breeze into the next round.
Oosthuizen also ended with three wins from his group matches with a victory over American Bubba Watson on the first extra hole. Both players, however, came into the match with two wins and whoever came out on top would be the one to advance. But the 2010 Open Champion birdied the par 5 first hole in sudden death, as Watson could only manage a par to drop out of the event.