Perez joins US trio in WGC Match Play semis

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Washington

France’s Victor Perez joined Americans Matt Kuchar, Billy Horschel and Scottie Scheffler in the WGC Match Play semi-finals with dramatic victories Saturday, the final four all seeded outside the top 30 for the first time.

US 52nd seed Kuchar, the 2013 winner and 2019 runner-up, defeated US 54th-seeded left-hander Brian Harman 2&1 to stay perfect this week at 5-0 and advance to a Sunday semi-final against US 30th seed Scheffler.

“I feel great,” Kuchar said after sinking a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th to seal the victory. “I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve been having.

“On top of that, it has been so intense. It’s a lot easier to smile when putts are going in. Certainly there are a lot of nerves.”

Perez, the 31st seed who ousted Spanish 39th seed Sergio Garcia 4&3, continued a fairytale run in his WGC Match Play debut, booking a morning date with US 32nd seed Horschel in the other semi-final at Austin (Texas) Country Club. “I think it’s the benefit of not knowing.

Sometimes ignorance is a good thing in golf,” Perez said of his first-timer success. “I feel like I’m going to keep on riding it.”

Horschel edged English 21st seed Tommy Fleetwood in 19 holes while Scheffler outdueled Spanish third seed Jon Rahm 3&1 in the other quarter-finals.—AP