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Leishman on the back foot in Austin

Marc Leishman is one hole down mid-way through the World Golf Championships-Match Play in Texas.
Marc Leishman is one hole down mid-way through the World Golf Championships-Match Play in Texas.

Marc Leishman is working hard to avoid a potentially tricky sudden-death playoff midway through his match against Pat Perez at the World Golf Championships-Match Play in Texas.

Coming into Thursday’s match against American Perez, 33-year-old Leishman had the potential to book an early spot in Saturday’s final 16 with a victory at Austin Country Club.

But with the Victorian native one down through nine holes, Leishman is flirting with a complex scenario on Friday.

With a loss, Leishman would need pool opponent Lee Westwood to beat Perez in their Friday match for the trio to be tied on two points.

To make matters worse, Leishman would then tee it up in a strokeplay sudden-death playoff having not played a single hole on Friday following compatriot Jason Day’s withdrawal from the tournament, who Leishman was scheduled to face.

In other big matches, five-time winner Phil Mickelson is heading for a second big victory in as many days, having fellow American Daniel Berger on the ropes with Mickelson four up through 11 holes.

World No.1 Dustin Johnson also looks to be cruising to deliver his second thrashing of an opponent, backing up his 5 and 3 win over Webb Simpson with a three-hole cushion through 15 holes during his Thursday match against Martin Kaymer.

Earlier, world No.4 Hideki Matsuyama suffered a 2 and 1 loss to England’s Ross Fisher, while No.2 Rory McIlroy bagged an effortless point with American opponent Gary Woodland’s withdrawal from the event.

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