VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY Championship AT FINCA CORTESIN, CASARES – DAY 3
Cool versus calm in summit shot down
By Norman Dabell
Casares (Malaga), Saturday 21 May 2011
World number one Lee Westwood left Finca Cortesín early but that only means a mouth-watering clash by two pretenders to his place on the summit, Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer. Cool Hand Luke meets Kaymer the Calm.
If either Kaymer, rarely ruffled, or Donald, who also prefers to let his clubs do the talking, wins their semi-final and goes on to lift the Volvo World Match Play trophy, that is where they will be: on top of the world.
Kaymer will be out to reverse his fortunes of earlier in the year when Donald beat him to earn the Accenture matchplay title.
While he has experienced the world's top spot, Donald, just above him at number two, has never been there. Donald, though, is on the brink of a unique match play championship double. And he hasn't lost at match play for 10 matches now.
He is wary of his determined German opponent, however. "I'm sure he has a little bit more in the tank than when I beat him at Tucson,'"was Donald's opinion after he saw off U.S. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel in the quarter-finals.
Kaymer is playing top-notch golf and he needed to be when sending the local fans away disappointed. When Álvaro Quirós's ball hit a buggy and bounced into a bush on the eighth the man from nearby San Roque maybe thought it wasn't going to be his day.
Donald prefers not to think too much about world rankings but not so Kaymer. "It would be nice, especially with my family, my coach and my trainer here, to become the world number one again."
The German kindly acknowledged that his semi-final opponent deserved to be number one, too, not that it will affect Kaymer's outlook. "Luke doesn't make any mistakes. You have to make birdies to win holes."
Ian Poulter and Volvo China Open winner Nicolas Colsaerts stand in the way of both aspirants. Poulter was the one who ousted Westwood.
A victory to celebrate his son's seventh birthday would go down a treat, Poulter said after a battle royal with Francesco Molinari which needed three closing birdies to shut out the Italian.
The tournament's surprise package Colsaerts, proved too much for the U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell to earn the right to meet Poulter.
There had been a real cameo in the morning as McDowell beat his great friend and Ryder Cup partner Rory McIlroy.
It was a tense affair. McIlroy refused to concede two-foot putts to his fellow Ulsterman and after missing a couple of short ones himself, McIlroy got really wound up. He flung his putter away in disgust, some 50 yards, at the 11th and then punted his ball into a bush at the 12th. Hard ball on soft foot. That would have hurt. Not as much as losing bragging rights back home, though.