WGC Match Play: Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy into last eight

Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood

WGC Match Play

Venue:
Ritz-Carlton GC, Dove Mountain, Arizona
Date:
22-26 February

Lee Westwood continued his unprecedented run at the WGC Match Play by moving into the quarter-finals with a victory over Nick Watney.

The Englishman, who had never made it beyond the second round in 11 previous attempts, beat the American 3&2.

He will face Martin Laird, who beat fellow Scot Paul Lawrie 3&1, in Saturday's last-eight match.

Like Westwood, Rory McIlroy, who beat Miguel Angel Jimenez 3&1, will be world number one with a victory this week.

Northern Irishman McIlroy meets Sang-Moon Bae after the South Korean overcame John Senden with a one up win.

Westwood led from the start and lost only two holes on his way to a comprehensive victory.

Beaten by Watney in the last two years, the Englishman got off to a flying start by winning the first two holes.

American Watney halved the deficit on the third but fell further behind as the world number three won three holes in a row from the eighth to go four up.

The 38-year-old's bogey at 12 reduced his lead to three shots and after seeing his drive roll off the green on the par-four 15th, the Englishman pitched to just a couple of feet but Watney birdied to extend the match.

But after Watney's tee-shot on the par-three 16th flew off the back of the green, Westwood, who has led after 48 of his 49 holes this week, made no mistake with two putts to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in his career.

He said: "It's all new to me this. He has beaten me the last couple of years so it was nice to get my own back. I played well and made a lot of birdies

"If you can get off to a quick start momentum is with you and by making a couple of birdies early on it's tough for anyone to get back in the match.

"I feel in control of nearly every part of my game. I'm confident with the way I'm playing, I'm hitting it straight and giving myself a lot of chances to fire at flags."

McIlroy only lost one hole on the way to building a three-hole lead by the ninth but had to wait until the 16th hole to seal his victory over veteran Spaniard Jimenez.

He said: "It felt a lot better than the first two days. I hit some really good iron shots and didn't' take advantage of some of the opportunities I gave myself.

"Miguel doesn't go away and even when I was three up through nine he just hangs in there and hangs in there but I was able to hold him off long enough.

"At the end he said 'Well played' and that he hopes I go all the way and I'm number one this week."

Last year's runner-up Martin Kaymer was comfortably beaten 4&3 by Matt Kuchar.

He will face Hunter Mahan after the American's 4&3 victory over Steve Stricker.

Swede Peter Hanson thrashed Brandt Snedeker 5&3 to book his place against Mark Wilson, who thumped Dustin Johnson 4&3.

Third round results (US unless stated, UK players in bold):

Matt Kuchar beat Martin Kaymer (Germany) 4&3

Hunter Mahan beat Steve Stricker 4&3

Lee Westwood (England) beat Nick Watney 3&2

Martin Laird (Scotland) beat Paul Lawrie (Scotland) 3&1

Peter Hanson (Sweden) beat Brandt Snedeker 5&3

Mark Wilson beat Dustin Johnson 4&3

Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) beat Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) 3&1

Bae Sang-moon (South Korea) beat John Senden (Australia) 1 up

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