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Marc Leishman advances to round of 16

Leishman hoping to advance past the round of 16 in the event for the first time tomorrow
Marc Leishman is the only Australian through to the round of 16 at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin in Texas after completing a hat-trick of victories in the round-robin phase of the championship.

Leishman easily accounted for hotshot Bryson DeChambeau in today’s encounter having beaten Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Russell Knox in earlier rounds.

Leishman now faces Louis Oosthuizen in Saturday morning’s Round of 16 and if he is able to defeat the South African then he will face either Li Hao Tong or Kevin Kisner in the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon.

Not that his task against Oosthuizen is an easy one, the 2010 Open Champion runner-up at last week’s Valspar Championship and having made at least a round of 16  in this event in four of his last five appearances including a runner-up finish in 2016.

Leishman was never behind in his match against DeChambeau and by the time the pair had completed 9 holes he was 5 up after five birdies and an eagle on his way to the turn. He would go on to win 5&4 and has some great momentum heading into what promises to be a tough encounter against Oosthuizen who defeated Tommy Fleetwood 4&3 today.

Leishman has benefited from a visit from coach Dennis McDade who made a slight alteration to his set-up after some indifferent golf had him unsure about his game.

"Like I said a couple of days ago, at THE PLAYERS I didn't have a clue where it was going, just hitting everything thin," said Leishman after his second round.

"Having a coach that's been with me for so long, we've been together for 18 years, he saw it straight away and fixed it up within half an hour of kind of looking at me, real sorted.

"My stance was too narrow, which changed my ball position and messed everything up. Not quite a study a base as I needed for my body. So it was, yeah, it was simple, but very, very productive."

 Leishman's fellow Australians Cameron Smith and Jason Day have been eliminated from the event, both having lost all three of their round-robin match-ups.

Tomorrow's round of 16 encounters offer several juicy head to heads, more especially that of Rory McIlroy against Tiger Woods, Woods’ 4&2 victory over Patrick Cantlay today, ensuring he would advance.

McIlroy won all three matches in his group over Luke List, Justin Harding and today, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and following his victory at the recent Players Championship he appears to be on top of his game.

The battle between two of the game’s most exciting players in their very first such encounter will be one of the more eagerly anticipated in the history of the event.

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