VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY Championship AT FINCA CORTESIN, CASARES – DAY 1
Donald hands match play lesson to Moore
Casares (Malaga), Thursday 19 May 2011
Luke Donald is chasing a unique match play double at Finca Cortesín on Spain’s Costa del Sol. If he can add the Volvo World Match Play Championship to the title he won in February at the WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship he has a chance to be World No.1 if Lee Westwood doesn’t make the final.
American Ryan Moore was Donald’s latest victim as the Englishman lived up to his remarkable match play pedigree to win 4&3. Polite ripples of applause greeted Moore on the 1st tee, neatly turned out in his trademark preppy grey waistcoat and pencil-thin black tie. But Moore’s play was anything but neat. He hooked his opening tee shot into rough then hooked again with his iron approach to the green. His ball bounced on the side of the bank of the elevated green and ricocheted into a bunker.
His ball came to rest on the lip at the back of the trap. He slapped at it but the inevitable happened. He left it in the sand. His second bunker shot rolled back down the bank until he chipped on with his fifth stroke. Hole conceded. Dreadful start. Donald 1up. Moore won the 2004 US Amateur Championship and was the most celebrated American amateur since Tiger Woods. But he had no answer to Donald’s steady and deadly game. Donald finished him off with birdies at 14 and 15. “Ryan struggled on the greens early and I didn’t give him many chances,” he said.
World No.1 Lee Westwood had an easy opening match dispatching Anders Hansen 6&5. A run of four birdies in five holes from the 4th did for the Dane. While Donald is looking invincible in match play, Westwood has won his last two stroke play tournaments, but is smart enough to stop short of pulling on a Superman T-shirt despite his recent stellar form. “I’ve seen enough up-and-downs in golf to know that you don’t take good play for granted,” he said. “You have to constantly work at it. But if you play as well as I played today, then you obviously allow that to affect your confidence and build it up.”
Graeme McDowell’s game proved too strong for Louis Oosthuizen to win the Battle of the US and British Open Champions 3&1. Next up for the 2010 US Open winner is Vegas. That’s Jhonattan, not the roulette wheels.
JimÉnez and QuirÓs
JimÉnez and QuirÓs step ahead at the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesín
Casares (Málaga), Thursday 19 May 2011
Today, Miguel Ángel Jiménez y Álvaro Quirós claimed their first two victories at Finca Cortesín, with each player leading their respective groups by two points. Jiménez triumphed over the current Masters champion, Schwartzel, on the 13th hole, taking it 6 & 5. Quirós leads Casey by 3& 1 but seemingly discontent with his game.
Jiménez found himself in a good position after his rival made two bogeys. On the fourth he messed up an eagle and so the two players secured a birdie each. At the fifth, Charl Schwartzel once again committed errors, leaving Miguel Ángel three strokes ahead. A fresh birdie on the eighth allowed the “Pisha” to extend his lead to four holes that soon turned into five following another bogey from the South African on the 11th. Miguel Ángel Jiménez finished the match with a birdie on the 13th.
Alvaro Quirós also led during the first round, largely due to errors from Casey that started with two bogeys on the first two holes. Both scored birdies on the third, but on the fourth and the fifth, both the Spaniard and the Englishman both slipped up consecutively, maintaining Quirós’s two-stroke advantage.
At the eighth hole, Casey won a hole back but Quirós neutralised this attack with another birdie on the ninth. Alvaro lost ground on holes 11, 12 and 13, and was only saved by a double bogey from the Englishman on the 12th, stopping him from snatching the lead on the last leg of the round. Alvaro reacted by sinking a birdie on the 14th and, another mistake by the Englishmen on the 17th, concluded the match.
The best play of the first round, joint with Jiménez, was the world number one, Lee Westwood, who beat Anders Hansen with an authoritative 6 & 5. More closely fought was the match between Rory McIlroy and Retief Goosen, which saw McIlroy win by 1 stroke. The South African was ahead until a double bogey on the 14th hole killed his advantage. The Northern Irishman raised his game on the 15th to take the lead followed by both players equaling each other with birdies on holes 16 and 18.
The “big name” duel finished in favor of the US Open winner Graeme McDowell, who beat the British Open champion, Louis Oosthuizen, by 3 & 1. Martin Kaymer defeated Yang Y. W. by 2 & 1, and Luke Donald beat the North American Ryan Moore by 4 & 3. There was only a draw in the 1st round - Ian Poulter managed to level with Francesco Molinari on the 18th after remaining in 2nd place the entire match.
Tomorrow is the decisive round to win a place in the quarterfinals. Like today, the players will accumulate two points for each match won, and one for each drawn. If at the end of the round there is a draw between two players in a group, a decider will be played. If there is still no winner, a sudden death playoff on holes 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 will decide who qualifies.
Tomorrow Miguel Ángel Jiménez will face Johan Edfors who won his place by coming second in the Andalucia Open. Play commences at 7.55 am, and at 8.05 am Álvaro Quirós will play against Soren Kjeldsen.
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