Volvo World Match Play: Victor Dubuisson wins again as Graeme McDowell suffers rare loss
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SportsPaulH
Last Updated: 16/10/14 6:35pm
Defending champion Graeme McDowell suffered a rare defeat in the second round of the Volvo World Match Play Championship, where Ryder Cup partner Victor Dubuisson continued his hot run of form by making it two wins out of two.
Dubuisson and Dutchman Joost Luiten are the only two men in the field with 100 percent records after two matches – with the Frenchman beating Shane Lowry and Luiten seeing off Alexander Levy.
Dubuisson 3&2 Lowry
Gallacher 1up Larrazabal
McDowell 2&1 Ilonen
Luiten 4&3 Levy
Stenson 2&1 Molinari
Jaidee 2&1 Coetzee
Donaldson 3&2 Blixt
McDowell has a superb record in the event and his 2&1 defeat to Finland’s Mikko Ilonen was just his third in 18 matches in what is his fourth year in the competition.
Ilonen was in sparkling form though as he hit seven birdies at the London Club to seal his first win in the event and join McDowell on two points in the Larson pool.
"I'm disappointed to lose today but Mikko was incredibly solid," McDowell said. "I felt like I played the best golf the first five holes but he putted better and that was the difference."
All to play for
With Luiten enjoying a convincing 4&3 win over Levy, he tops the group on four points after two wins from two, but all four men can still go through to the quarter-finals with the final round of matches seeing Luiten play McDowell and Levy taking on Ilonen.
Dubuisson is turning into a something of a matchplay specialist after reaching the final of the WGC event in February and playing superbly in the Ryder Cup – and his record remained perfect in Kent with a 3&2 win over Lowry.
Dubuisson now tops his group ahead of Lowry and Pablo Larrazabal on two points - the Spaniard chipping in on the 18th to pinch a 1up victory over an unlucky Stephen Gallacher, who remains without a point.
There’s still all to play for in that group though with Gallacher taking on Dubuisson and Lowry playing Larrazabal next.
The McCormack pool is the most closely-contested with all four players sat on two points following a second round of matches that saw Patrick Reed bounce back from an opening defeat with a 2&1 win over Paul Casey.
Donaldson v Reed
Blixt v Casey
Dubuisson v Gallacher
Lowry v Larrazabal
McDowell v Luiten
Ilonen v Levy
Stenson v Jaidee
Molinari v Coetzee
Jamie Donaldson was very solid as he beat Jonas Blixt 3&2 and that now sets up an intriguing Ryder Cup clash between Donaldson and Reed on the final day of group matches.
Henrik Stenson was in flying form as the world No 5 beat Francesco Molinari 2&1 despite the Italian shooting seven under for his round – the Swede was an incredible eight under for his last nine holes.
He is tied alongside George Coetzee on three points after the South African, who was the last man to make the tournament line-up, remained unbeaten after a 2&1 win over Thongchai Jaidee.
Wednesday’s final round of matches sees Stenson tackle Jaidee, while Coetzee goes up against Molinari for places in the quarter-finals.