Rafa Cabrera-Bello remained within touching distance of a place in the round of 16 as his match against Søren Kjeldsen at the WGC-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club went to the wire.
Wins on Wednesday and Thursday saw the Spaniard top Group 12 and Cabrera-Bello knew a win or a half would see him advance.
But Kjeldsen, who was already eliminated from the tournament before day three, is made of stern stuff and he led by one hole heading into the back nine.
Birdies on the 10th and 12th saw Cabrera-Bello move briefly ahead before the Dane responded to lead by one hole with 15 played.
In the other Group 12 match, Hideki Matsuyama held a commanding three-hole lead over Kevin Kisner with both men needing a win and a Cabrera-Bello loss to force a playoff.
Sergio Garcia strengthened his chances of advancing from Group 13 as he opened up a three-hole lead over Marc Leishman, highlighted by a brilliant 108-yard approach for eagle on the tenth.
Englishman Lee Westwood is still in with an opportunity to advance and he held a one-hole advantage over Ryan Moore, who will win the group if he can overcome the deficit.
Byeong-hun An produced a wonderful 94-yard approach to eagle the 13th and lead World Number Five Rickie Fowler by two with the South Korean knowing a win would see him through.
Jason Dufner led fellow American Scott Piercy by one hole in the other Group 5 match.
In Group 4, the match between leader Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes was all square while Patton Kizzire held a one-hole lead over Emiliano Grillo.