Volvo World Match Play Championship: Graeme McDowell beats Nicolas Colsaerts to reach semis
Graeme McDowell defeated Nicolas Colsaerts to reach the semi-finals of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.
Last Updated: 18/05/13 6:42pm
Colsaerts beat McDowell in the final of last year's event in Spain and also knocked him out 12 months previously, but this time around it was the Ulsterman who came out on top as he claimed a 2&1 victory at the spectacular Thracian Cliffs lay-out.
The Belgian had actually gone ahead with an early birdie at the third, but McDowell won the next two to get his nose in front and then made a pair of sublime birdies at the par-three seventh and eighth holes to stretch into a 3up lead.
Colsaerts conjured up a miraculous up-and-down after his ball came to rest in an on-course toilet at the tenth to remain only three down, but then launched a fightback as he won the 13th and 14th holes.
He had a chance to get back on terms at the par-five 16th, but having failed with the putter then made a mess of the short 17th to hand McDowell victory.
"Revenge is a dish best served cold," McDowell told Sky Sports. "I was disappointed, especially in the final last year when conditions were tough and I didn't really give him enough of a game. He's a very good match player. He's a tough guy to beat.
I've played the first 10, 11 holes here every day just about as good as I can possibly play, but for some reason I can't work these last five or six holes. But I'm surviving and it's about survival out here."
McDowell will now face Branden Grace in the semi-finals after the South African overcame England's Chris Wood 2&1 after a tight contest.
Both players held narrow leads at some stage, but it was Grace who prevailed after Wood made costly back-to-back bogeys at 16 and then 17.
There is still the possibility of an all-South African final as Thomas Aiken made his way into the final four with a 3&2 win over Francesco Molinari.
Aiken was never behind against the Italian having moved ahead at the fifth hole and closed out the match with a birdie at the par-five 16th.
He will take on Thongchai Jaidee in the semis after the Thai completed a convincing 4&3 success over Scotland's Scott Jamieson, making a total of four birdies on his way to victory.