AUSTIN, Texas – For much of the three days at the Austin Country Club, Tiger Woods exuded an atmosphere of frustration. Whimsical course. Indifferent putting Questionable decisions. And a matchplay performance that suggested that he would get an earlier start to preparations for Masters.
Then Woods took an 83-meter wedge on Friday afternoon, changing everything.
The Eagle on the 13th hole drove Woods to a 4 and 2 win over Patrick Cantlay and – along with Brandt Snedeker's 6 and 4 defeat to Aaron Wise – a win in his group's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship.
Woods will face Rory McIlroy on Saturday morning in the round of 16, with the format being played until Sunday's final match. McIlroy moved out of his group with a 4-2 win against Matthew Fitzpatrick.
The winner enters the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon. The semi-finals and the final will take place on Sunday.
"It's exciting," McIlroy told Woods. "It's exciting for the tournament and it will be exciting for us." I feel good with my game. I played well all year long. I continued this week.
"It's definitely going to be one of those where I have to go out and stick to my schedule and not really have to see what he's doing until I have to." towards the end. "
Tiger Woods advanced to WGC Dell Technologies' weekend weekend match play, with his eagle in 13th place certainly helping.
After a week's break, Tiger is back to what is likely to be the final start before the Masters Stop at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play and all the steps that lead to this point.
Woods and McIlroy know each other very well They did not compete in either the Ryder Cup or this game They have been in the same group 18 times in PGA Tour events, with Woods scoring nine times lower and the pair of three scoring twice on the European Tour five times, with McIlroy scoring three times.)  They were together in the last round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta last September when Woods 71 shot McIlroy 74 and clinched his 80th PGA Tour title.
"I have to fight better than in Atlanta last year, "McIlroy said. "I did not have much of a game that day."
Cantlay was far less known after only playing one round with Woods. And although there were some important points in the Woods Cantlay match, the hole-out because the eagle was huge because it helped Woods – who had a 2-down deficit with 8 holes – with only five players.
"I lay down to make sure I shot him under pressure if he wanted to try it," said Woods, who hit his tee 222 yards to the water-logged hole on the left and landed there in the same spot where he met Snedeker on Thursday and got a shot penalty. "I looked at his hand a few times and they talked about it.
"And so I put them on the fairway and I thought his ride had pulled back into the rough back, but from there Just as they looked at the golf ball, it looked like it was probably going to be on the fairway. I knew I had to set it up there to have at least one chance at a 3 to force him to have a good sound from the bottom, and it was a small bonus. "
Woods used a 60- Degree sand wedge from 83 meters high to land the ball at about high altitude, then he saw him turn back and dribble into the hole, which caused a great cheer and a few fist pumps from the triple winner of this tournament.  The 27-year-old Cantlay, a one-time winner of the PGA Tour, who is in 19th place in the world, fought early and made birdies go to the third, fifth and sixth holes by 1. Then he took despite a tricky drop from a cart path that took him to Sch Wierigkeiten brought a 2-up lead just to see Woods miss the green, hit a bad chip from the edge, cross a 6-foot par and bogey
but Cantlay would not win another hole and make a big mistake by driving into the penalty area at the ninth exit.
"He got a bad break on 9," Woods said down there, the hill started, went into danger. I was able to win this hole and take some momentum until the last nine.
"There is a big difference between 1 and 2. For some reason, it seems like you're winning a few holes, and suddenly you can stand up in a match instead of trying to get back to all the fields, fighting and fighting So that was great for a little swing backwards. "
Woods placed Match by building a 20-foot birdie for Birdie on the 11th, then moved on as he finished the Par-5. 12-Birdie made birdie while Cantlay could not keep up, then came the eagle on the 13th and another birdie on the 14th, and Woods played a six-round, hole extending from 11th to 16th in 6 under par.
"I'm grateful for the format because I would go home yesterday," Woods said, "so tomorrow I have a chance to play tomorrow and I hope I can play well enough to move forward."
Woods, who went 2-1 in his group, needed Wise to defeat Snedeker In order to progress, Woods would have gone with Snedeker to a sudden death.
But after knocking down Woods on Thursday, Snedeker lost two early holes with bogeys, made only two birdies in his round and was 3-10 down on the 14th before the end of the match.
Woods said he had Never paid attention to the other game until its end was almost over because "I had to take care of my own game, it's irrelevant if I lose my match."
The last three Match Play champions were ahead of the game
Top Seed Dustin Johnson was the only one who came into the knockout round by Friday from Hideki Matsuyama 4 and 2.
Last year's champ Bubba Watson resigned on Thursday, as did the champion of 2016 Jason Day.
Johnson won the tournament in 2017, but failed to finish the round-robin games the last two years, his tournament beginning with a simple victory over Chez Reavie (19459025) before losing from Branden Grace and Matsuyama.
Johnson loses Grace on Saturday in the knockout round against Sergio Garcia.
Phil Mickelson beat Day 2 in the final round. Mickelson was 4-up after eight holes before the Day 4 rally. Mickelson won the game by winning two of the last three holes.
Henrik Stinson was the first player in the 64-player field to reach the weekend when he beat Jim Furyk 5 and 4.
Matt Kuchar birdied the last hole to tie Jon Rahm and win his group.