Phil Mickelson dominated J.B. Holmes, 6 and 5, on Friday to remain undefeated and advance to weekend playin WGC Match Play competition for the first time since 2004.
Lefty has been so good over the first three days at Austin Country Club that he not only hasn't lost, but he hasn't even trailed.
A clean sweep on the week, and it was never close.
On to the Round of 16 for Lefty. pic.twitter.com/5uM58jiDAv
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 24, 2017
The world No. 18 joked that he was able to "conserve energy" bynot having a match pushed past the 15th hole.
“I'm nervous that I haven't been in a match that has gone the last hole or two and feel that clutch pressure," he said,via GolfChannel.com, "but also the good is that I have been able to conserve energy heading into this weekend."
This is rare territory for Mickelson, 46, who has played in 13 Match Play events, but he's played on the weekend only once, when he lost to Davis Love III in the quarterfinals of the 2004 event. Mickelson will play Marc Leishman in the Round of 16.
Another player who dominated group play was Dustin Johnson, who completed his own sweep Friday with a 5 and 3 win over Jimmy Walker. It will be a Johnson & Johnson matchup on Saturday with DJ playing Zach Johnson, who survived to win Group 16.
Following the conclusion of group play and beginning with the weekend's Round of 16, match losers are eliminated.
In other noteworthy matches on a rainyFriday full of playoffs to reach Saturday's knockout rounds:
— Facing a player he long has looked up to,John Rahm, 22, defeated fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia, 6 and 4, to advance to Saturday's play. Rahm will take on Charles Howell III, who won asudden-death playoff against Rafa Cabrera Bello and Tyrrell Hatton on the fifth hole with a birdie from 4 feet to advance as the Group 10 winner. Hatton was disqualified after he incurred a two-stroke penalty when he holed out after the ball had moved when he placed his putter behind it.
—Kevin Na needed only one hole — a birdie — in his playoff against Matthew Fitzpatrick to win Group 6. Na's next opponent will be Bill Haas, who needed six playoff holes to outlastK.T. Kim in a Group 11 sudden-death playoff.
— William McGirt and Paul Casey also finished pool play unbeaten at 3-0.McGirt defeatedAndy Sullivan, 1 up, andCasey defeated Charl Schwartzel, 4 and 3. Casey will face Hideto Tanihara in the Round of 16 after Tanihara won Group 5. McGirt will play Soren Kjeldsen in Saturday's Round of 16.
— Bubba Watson and Ross Fisher will square off Saturday after they won their respective groups. Watson edged outJhonattanVegas in Group 13 and Fisher won a playoff withLouisOosthuizen to winGroup 4.
—Because of three players' withdrawals, KjeldsenandAlex Noren didn't even have to play Friday, having already won their groups. Noren will face Brooks Koepka, who swept his way through Group 9.
Omnisport's Ron Clements contributed to this report.