• Volvo World Match Play Championship, Day Two

Poulter crashes out in Bulgaria

ESPN staff
May 17, 2013
Thracian Cliffs continued to be the star of the action on Friday © Getty Images

Ian Poulter was the biggest casualty after the group stages of the Volvo World Match Play Championship, as the Englishman lost his second match in as many days to crash out of the competition.

After losing to Thongchai Jaidee at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria on Thursday, Poulter missed a seven-foot putt for a half - and a resultant sudden death play-off - against Thomas Aiken to drop out of the event at the expense of the South African.

Having also lost to Jaidee in his morning match, Aiken set up the do-or-die decider against renowned matchplay expert Poulter. He took an early lead after some impressive play, before the Englishman clawed his way back to parity around the turn. Aiken then again opened up a two hole advantage by the 14th - but Poulter fought back, two birdies sending the match to the final hole.

A wayward tee-shot left Poulter struggling to make his up-and-down for a par and, after Aiken two-putted for his four, the Englishman's missed putt ended his event.

"Pretty tiring!" Aiken said afterwards. "Started very well ... I just tried to make no mistakes [at the end]. Fortunately it was good enough."

Sweden's Henrik Stenson was another high-profile loser on Friday, going out of the competition after losing 3&1 against Felipe Aguilar - while Shane Lowry and Peter Hanson needed a play-off with George Coetzee to finally progress at the South African's expense.

Graeme McDowell is the top seed left in the competition, the Northern Irishman dispatching of Stephen Gallacher 4&2. Defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts is also into the knockout phase of the event, after he beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat 3&2 in one of the morning matches.

Meanwhile, Scott Jamieson beat Thorbjorn Olesen 5&3 to ensure he and Carl Petterson would progress at the expense of the Dane.

Elsewhere, Australian Brett Rumford is successfully through as he bids to become the first player since Seve Ballesteros to win three successive European Tour events. He will face Branden Grace in the first knockout round.

Aiken said: "He was an inspiration to all European Tour players, and especially in match play he was an extreme competitor and that's what you need to be successful in the format. It would be an honour, that's for sure."

Saturday will see the last-16 and last-8 ties take place.

Volvo World Match Play Championship, Last 16 draw
Branden Grace v Brett Rumford
Richard Sterne v Chris Wood
Francisco Molinari v Carl Pettersson
Shane Lowry v Thomas Aiken
Scott Jamieson v Felipe Aguilar
Thongchai Jaidee v Peter Hanson
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano v Nicolas Colsaerts
Graeme McDowell v Bo Van Pelt

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