Golf — Match PlaySaturday, February 22, 2014
Oosthuizen crushes Simpson 5&4
McDowell outlasts Mahan over 21 holes
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen reached the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship quarterfinals yesterday after he sealed a commanding 5&4 victory over Webb Simpson. He was joined by Graeme McDowell, after a third successive Houdini-like escape.
MARANA, Arizona — South African Louis Oosthuizen coasted in sizzling style while Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler of the US both staged thrilling comebacks to reach the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship quarterfinals in Marana, Arizona yesterday.
Also advancing into the last eight were Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, making his debut this week in a World Golf Championships event, and Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, after a third successive Houdini-like escape at Dove Mountain.
Former British Open champion Oosthuizen, who upset top-seeded Swede Henrik Stenson in the previous round, was a flawless six under for the day when he sealed a commanding 5&4 victory over Webb Simpson of the US.
Oosthuizen eagled the par-five second and then added four birdies to tighten his grip on the third-round encounter. He will next meet Australian Jason Day, who never trailed on the way to a comfortable 3&1 win against South African George Coetzee.
“I’m playing some of my best (golf) now,” Oosthuizen told reporters. “I’m hitting the ball really good and just need to make the putts. I made quite a few birdies coming in, and he put himself in a few tough spots off the tee to make bogeys and pars. My golf has been really solid.”
PGA Tour veteran Furyk and emerging talent Fowler also reached the last eight, but both had their work cut out before they advanced.
Furyk came from three down after six holes to win a hotly contested match with compatriot Harris English one up, making sure of the win with birdies at 16 and 17 before recording a matching par at the 18th.
Fowler, who upset 2010 champion Ian Poulter and in-form US player Jimmy Walker in his first two matches, rallied from three down after eight holes to pip Spaniard Sergio García one up.
The US player piled up five birdies in the last 10 holes to seize control and will take on Furyk in today’s quarterfinals.
McDowell, taken to 19 holes in his opening match and 18 in his second as he had to rally in both, came from two down after 16 holes to edge Hunter Mahan of the US after 21.
The Northern Irishman won the 17th and 18th, then sealed victory with a birdie at the 21st in a re-match of their decisive singles clash at the 2010 Ryder Cup, also won by McDowell.
He will next meet Dubuisson, who beat former Masters champion Bubba Watson one up in an erratic match that featured just six birdies between them.
Jordan Spieth ousted fellow US player and defending champion Matt Kuchar in a match of high quality, completing a 2&1 victory with his ninth birdie of the day at the par-four 17th.
South African Ernie Els beat PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner one up and will next take on Spieth.