Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s glorious run at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play was stopped by American left-hander Bubba Watson in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Thai was beaten 5 & 3 by the former two-time Masters Tournament champion, who earned a semi-final showdown with reigning FedExCup No. 1 Justin Thomas at the Austin Country Club. Thomas can become the new World No. 1 if he beats Watson to get into the final.

Earlier in the round of 16, Kiradech brilliantly came from 1-down with two holes to play to defeat American Charles Howell III, thanks to gutsy birdies on 17 and 18 which enabled him to enjoy his best finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. His finish will enable Kiradech to break into the world’s top-30 for the first time at 27th position.

In the round of 16, South Korea’s Siwoo Kim, the reigning THE PLAYERS Championship winner, was well beaten by Thomas 6 & 5.

Sweden’s Alexander Noren will face American Kevin Kisner in the other semi-final on Sunday morning, with the final showdown slated in the afternoon.

Kiradech, who finished T5 at the WGC-Mexico Championships earlier this month, was only one of seven players in the group stages to secure a 100% winning record, following wins over Chez Reavie, Keegan Bradley and Jon Rahm, the World No. 3.

The Thai is somewhat of a match play expert as he won the 2015 Paul Lawrie Match Play on the European Tour and also the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth last month which used a six-hole match play format on the last day.

He will take next week off before heading to Augusta National for the year’s opening major, the Masters Tournament.

In the battle for a semifinals berth, two bogeys by Kiradech followed by two Watson birdies during a four-hole stretch on the back nine proved to be the difference, as Watson reached the semifinals for the first time since his first Match Play appearance in 2011. Both players started strong, combining for seven birdies in the first six holes. That match was all square at the turn but then Kiradech found the primary rough with his approach at 10, resulting in a bogey.

He followed by three-putting at 11. Watson then had a two-putt par at the par-5 12th and rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt at 13 and suddenly he was 4-up. Watson hit his approach at the 15th to 9 feet and the Thai eventually conceded the hole and the match.

Watson: “It was a great match. And then No. 9 I fatted it in the hazard with a lob wedge in my hand. And then — if it was stroke play, I told Ted, if it was stroke play — I’m good friends with Kiradech, and he fatted it on 10. And I would have went over and said, ‘Don’t copy me, man’. But since we’re playing match play, I didn’t think he would think it was as funny as I did. So he bogeyed there, he gave me a hole. I gave him one on 9, he gave me one on 10. We had difficult putts, him being the first putter on 11, putted it seven feet from the hole, so he missed that and I two-putted. Hitting that bunker shot on 12, two-putt again from 40 feet, 50 feet for birdie. And then making birdie on a tough hole, 13. So real fast. You have the pressure, you’re trying to focus on your shots, and then within minutes it feels like you’re cruising to victory. It was one of those things, it could have went either way. And today I made putts and I got the breaks going my way. I didn’t three-putt when I needed a two-putt.”

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