• Volvo World Match Play Championship, Last 16

McDowell fends off Van Pelt

ESPN staff
May 18, 2013
Graeme McDowell is eyeing Matchplay glory © Getty Images

Graeme McDowell withstood a late charge from Bo Van Pelt to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Volvo World Matchplay Championship.

With Ian Poulter out of the way in the group stage, McDowell is the favourite to take the prize on the edge of the Black Sea.

Van Pelt was his opponent in the last 16 and McDowell took the match by the scruff of the neck early on at a sun-drenched Thracian Cliffs.

A run of three birdies in his first five holes had the Ulsterman three to the good. Van Pelt, the only American in the competition, matched McDowell for much of the contest but he was unable to recover from a double-bogey on eight that left him four down.

Van Pelt struck the ball impressively coming home and rolled in a superb putt on 13 to cut the deficit. Van Pelt won 13 and 15 with birdies to get within one and he had a putt on 18 to force the match into extra holes but it slid by on the low side.

McDowell's win sets up a mouthwatering quarter-final with Nicolas Colsaerts. The Belgian, the defending champion, won a ding-dong battle with the Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

Colsaerts won the opening five holes and was crusing at five up with five to play, but his Spanish opponent caught fire and took 14, 15, 16 and 17. Under intense pressure, Colsaerts hit a brilliant iron approach on the 18th to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Brett Rumford's bid for victory for the third week in a row came unstuck at the hands of Branden Grace who holed a string of a long putts in his 4&3 success. Grace will face Chris Wood in the last eight following his 5&3 win over Richard Sterne.

Francesco Molinari has been quietly impressive this week and the Italian proved much too strong for Carl Pettersson. Molinari won the first, was four up after six holes and he played solid golf all the way in his 6&4 victory.

Molinari will face Thomas Aiken in the last eight after he beat Shane Lowry at the first play-off hole. Lowry will walk away disappointed as he bogeyed 17 and 18 to open the door for Aiken who took the first play-off hole after Lowry dumped his ball in the water.

Scott Jamieson won the 17th and 18th to beat Felipe Aguilar and he will face Thongchai Jaidee who needed 21 holes to see off Peter Hanson having led for much of the match. Hanson paid the price for an awful approach to the 21st that left him in deep rough.

Volvo World Match Play Championship, Last 16 results
Branden Grace beat Brett Rumford 4&3
Chris Wood beat Richard Sterne 5&3
Francesco Molinari beat Carl Pettersson 6&4
Thomas Aiken beat Shane Lowry 19th
Scott Jamieson beat Felipe Aguilar 1Up
Thongchai Jaidee beat Peter Hanson 21st
Nicolas Colsaerts beat Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 2Up
Graeme McDowell beat Bo Van Pelt 1Up

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