Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Colsaerts and McDowell clash again

Graeme McDowell is into the last 16 in Bulgaria

Nicolas Colsaerts and Graeme McDowell contested the final 12 months ago and have set up a quarter-final clash at the Volvo World Match Play Championship after both almost blew massive leads at the last-16 stage.

Defending champion Colsaerts was five up with six to play against Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano at Thracian Cliffs but lost four of the next five holes - three of them to birdies - before finally closing out a two-hole victory on the 18th.

Ryder Cup team-mate McDowell was four ahead of Bo Van Pelt with six to play only for the American to birdie the 13th, 15th and 16th and narrowly miss from 15 feet for another on the last when attempting to force extra holes.

The first quarter-final to begin saw South African Branden Grace taking on England's Chris Wood, Grace having ended Brett Rumford's bid for a third European Tour title in succession with a 4&3 victory in the last 16 this morning.

Wood, playing his first event since pulling out of the Malaysian Open with a back injury in March, had defeated South African Richard Sterne 5&3, while Italy's Francesco Molinari thrashed Swede Carl Pettersson 6&4 to set up a quarter-final with South Africa's Thomas Aiken.

Aiken won the 18th with a par four to force a play-off with Ireland's Shane Lowry and then sealed victory on the first extra hole when Lowry found sand off the tee and water with his second shot.

Scott Jamieson holed from 30ft for birdie on the 18th green to beat Chile's Felipe Aguilar and then faced a lengthy wait to discover his quarter-final opponent as Thongchai Jaidee and Peter Hanson went into a play-off.

Hanson had birdied the 18th from seven feet to keep the match alive and then saved par from a greenside bunker on the second extra hole, but carved his approach to the third into deep rough and this time was unable to produce another great escape.

A relieved McDowell said of his win: "Bo found his eye with the putter coming in and holed some nice putts and really kept me honest. It was nice to get the job done. I was fully prepared to go to the first tee there (for a play-off), I expected him to hole that."

As for his match with Colsaerts, McDowell added: "He's beaten me twice, the last two years running in this tournament. So you could say I might owe him one."

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