John Senden has continued his giant-killing ways at the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship in San Francisco, taking out another huge scalp in former champion Hunter Mahan to reach the final eight.
Seeded 60th, the Queenslander is the lowest seed left in the competition but he has failed to be overawed, fighting back from an early deficit to win 2 and 1 against the 2012 champion and 2013 runner-up.
The news wasn’t as good for Victorian Marc Leishman who managed to claw back from a three-hole deficit through eight holes to tie his match with Gary Woodland through 12 but ultimately fell 2 and 1.
Senden now meets Woodland this afternoon in the quarter-finals.
“Hunter was really in control most of the day but I found a few birdies in the middle of the round and kind of changed my momentum,” Senden said.
“So that was a fun match to play and gives me good experience for competing this afternoon. I stuck to my game plan and stayed aggressive.
“Looking ahead Gary is a great player and he’s playing some fantastic golf. It should be a great match.”
Senden looked in trouble after a rough start and was two down through four holes, a deficit held at the turn.
But birdies on the 10th and 12th holes squared the match and gave the 44-year-old renewed vigour.
When Mahan bogeyed the 14th hole Senden took a 1-up lead and then he doubled it with birdie on 15.
The American birdied the 16th to get the lead back to one but then missed the green on the 17th and couldn’t save par, handing Senden the match.
Leishman was loose early but turned on the heat with birdies on the ninth, 10th and 12th holes to get level.
Woodland then turned the momentum with a huge 30-foot birdie putt on the 14th and backed it up with a great approach and birdie on 15 to take the advantage.
World No.1 and top seed Rory McIlroy destroyed Japanese young gun Hideki Matsuyama 6 and 5 to set up a quarter-final against England’s Paul Casey who won 3 and 1 against Charl Schwartzel.
World No.5 Jim Furyk moved on with a 5 and 3 win over JB Holmes and now faces South African Louis Oosthuizen who prevailed 1up over American Ricky Fowler.
Danny Willett beat Lee Westwood 3 and 2 in a battle of the Brits to set up another match against a countryman.
He will play Tommy Fleetwood after he won 2 and 1 over Branden Grace.