The Volvo World Match Play Championship



Poulter sees off Lewis to top group

Ian Poulter (Getty Images)

Defending Champion  Ian Poulter recorded his second win in the Volvo Match Play Championship in Spain, but 21 year old Tom Lewis, the man he beat, is also through to the last 16. Ian won it  comfortably at 4 and 3 after they had made the turn at all square.The champion  Poulter now faces Alvaro Quiros, while Tom Lewis is also up against Spanish opposition in Sergio Garcia.

Alvaro Quiros will be a tough task according to Ian;

“I don’t think either of us were 100 per cent switched on. I guess it was hard to get that adrenaline rush you normally get in match play.
It’s always nice to play well over the first couple of days, and I’ll be going into the weekend with that mind set and rather than obviously playing okay. Sergio, or Alvaro, are both two tough matches. It’s in Spain, they feel at home, they are going to have a lot of support and are both good players. Either one is going to be a tough match. I’ve driven the ball nicely and holed key putts at the right time, and that’s obviously what I did last year throughout the weekend. I holed nice putts and hit good shots but I definitely holed putts at the right time, and that’s obviously the key to playing well in match play.”

Sergio also wins his group, besides admitting he did not play his best;

 “I wasn’t hitting the best of shots, but somehow I found a way of getting the ball in play and hitting a couple decent iron shots, gave myself good birdie chances on 11 and 12 and 15, and rolled a good putt in to get things going.  I obviously got a little bit fortunate because neither of my playing partners played great the first two days. I got on a good run today after starting poorly the first seven holes. Overall I think it was a mix of hitting a couple of good shots at the right times, and getting a little bit lucky. Throughout my career, I’ve been fairly good at match play. As a professional, maybe not as good but as an amateur I was usually pretty good. It’s nice to get a couple of wins and hopefully we’ll play well tomorrow and have a chance of winning again.”

Afternoon results;

A/S S Garcia 06:45 T Lewis A/S
A/S G McDowell 06:55 R Finch A/S
A/S P Lawrie 07:05 T Bjorn A/S
A/S R Goosen 07:15 R Rock A/S
A/S B Snedeker 07:25 C Villegas A/S
A/S J Rose 07:35 N Colsaerts A/S
A/S I Poulter 07:45 A Quiros A/S
A/S R Cabrera Bello 07:55 R Karlsson A

Last 16 matches are above.

Brandt severely jet Lagged, and minus clubs in Spain


Martin/Getty Images

Brandt Snedeker has had a nightmare flight from Miami to Madrid to compete in The Volvo World Match Play Championship. The aircraft  had to make an emergency landing after a passenger suffered a heart attack, and required urgent medical attention. After about a four hour delay on the ground, Brandt finally arrived in Malaga, minus his suitcase and clubs. Brandt was forced to use a makeshift set for Wednesday’s pro-am, he said of his extra long flight;

“It’s been weird. It’s been a long couple of days, but it’s worth it to get here. We had to make the emergency landing in the middle of the ocean out in the Azores and spent three or four hours on the runway dealing with that situation. So I’m a bit tired. I’m trying my best not to nap before tonight, that will be the main thing. I love match play. The one-on-one situations, when you can dictate the match by how you play, there is a lot of strategy involved. I love having one man to beat instead of 130-140 other guys. There’s a lot more pressure on every putt, which I kind of like.”

He tee’s off on Thursday against Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, both of them are the only representatives of their respective countries.  He will need a good night’s sleep before he starts his bid to become the first U.S. player to win the event since Mark O’Meara in 1998.

Brandt missed out on selection for the 2010 Ryder Cup, but believes he’s in good shape to make the team for the first time.

“There’s a long way to go before that, but that’s a main goal of mine this year,” he said. “There’s a lot of golf left, but winning this week would be a step in the right direction.

“I’m trying to get back into form after missing the cut at the Players last week, but I’m not too far off. I have been playing some good golf and my short game’s in good shape. I love coming over to Europe, the culture and the lifestyle. It really is my cup of tea here. I just always play bad, for some reason. I’m going to really need those clubs to arrive.”

Since Brandt’s win at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, he has only finished in the top ten once. That was at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship the following month. That could be a good omen for Brandt as the $3.5 million event this week in Spain, will be played using the same match-play format. A successful few days by Snedeker will give U.S. team captain Davis Love III a nudge ahead of the Ryder Cup against Europe in September.

Ian Poulter is the defending champion of this event, and seems in good heart, he loves matchplay.

Volvo World Match Play Championship

Volvo World Match Play ChampionshipLogo European Tour small v4Ian Poulter ()

Group 1: (1) Martin Kaymer, (16) Rafael Cabrera Bello, (24) Richard Finch
Group 2: (4) Graeme McDowell, (13) Robert Karlsson, (20) Jbe Kruger
Group 3: (2) Justin Rose, (15) Robert Rock, (19) Darren Clarke
Group 4: (3) Charl Schwartzel, (14) Nicolas Colsaerts, (18) Retief Goosen
Group 5: (5) Sergio Garcia, (12) Alvaro Quiros, (22) Tetsuji Hiratsuka
Group 6: (8) Ian Poulter, (9) John Senden, (23) Tom Lewis
Group 7: (6) Peter Hanson, (11) Paul Lawrie, (21) Camilo Villegas
Group 8: (7) Brandt Snedeker, (10) Thomas Bjorn, (17) Branden Grace

Ian Poulter starts his defense of the Volvo World Match Play tournament in Andalucia Spain on Thursday against Australian John Senden. Ian has said he is ready for the cut and thrust of matchplay;

“I love the cut and thrust of match play and find it a refreshing change from the usual stroke play format we play week in week out on the Tour. And with the fact it is Ryder Cup year, I think it will be even more exciting with every match from the group stages to the final a chance for aspiring team members to impress Captain Olazábal in what is our final chance to play match player before Medinah.”

The host country has Rafael Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros to try and achieve a Spanish win, a feat last completed by Seve Ballesteros in 1991 at The Wentworth Club in England.

England is represented by five players, more than any of the other nations, second is South Africa with four, Spain three, Northern Ireland and  Sweden both have two players, with Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Scotland, United States, fielding one each. The lone American is seventh seeded Brandt Snedeker, who faces Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn in the first round.

All the  players are divided into eight groups of three. They play in a round-robin group format on Thursday and Friday. This will decide which 16 players progress to Saturday’s knock-out stage. The semi-finals and final will played on Sunday. The first 16 players have been seeded based upon their Official World Ranking Points as of Monday 14 May 2012. The eight un-seeded players will be drawn at random on Tuesday 15 May. Good luck to them all, I love watching matchplay, you either win your match or your out.