- POSTED: 22 Feb 2014 07:52
Graeme McDowell made a 19-foot par save on the penultimate hole and beat Hunter Mahan in 21 holes to reach the quarter-finals of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship.
MARANA, United States: Graeme McDowell made a 19-foot par save on the penultimate hole and beat Hunter Mahan in 21 holes on Friday to reach the quarter-finals of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship.
McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion from Northern Ireland, and Mahan, the 2012 Match Play winner and 2013 runner-up, staged a rematch of their epic 2010 Ryder Cup singles showdown.
McDowell beat Mahan 3 and 1 at Celtic Manor to clinch the trophy for Europe, never trailing in that victory, but he was forced to rally for the third day in a row to beat Mahan.
After sustaining his hopes with the long par save on the 20th hole, McDowell sank a birdie at the last - the 10th hole - while Mahan found the rough and a greenside bunker to fall.
McDowell advanced to a quarter-final matchup against France's Victor Dubuisson who upset 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson 1 up, downing him five days after the American's triumph at Riviera, his first since taking the green jacket at Augusta National.
South African Ernie Els sank a short birdie putt on the 18th hole to defeat 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner 1 up and book a last-eight match against rising US star Jordan Spieth, a 2 and 1 winner over countryman Matt Kuchar.
South African Louis Oosthuizen beat American Webb Simpson 5 and 4 in a third-round matchup of major winners to book his quarter-final spot.
"I made quite a few birdies coming in," said Oosthuizen. "He put himself in a few tough spots to make bogeys and pars and I just for some reason made a few putts and hit a lot of birdies."
Next up for Oosthuizen will be Australian Jason Day, who ousted South African George Coetzee 3 and 1.
Americans Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler booked a quarter-final matchup with 1-up triumphs, 2003 US Open winner Furyk dispatching countryman Harris English and Fowler ousting Spanish star Sergio Garcia.
After Garcia felt guilty about the long pause before a putt dropped at the sixth hole, he conceded Fowler a difficult 17-foot par putt at the seventh.
"I don't regret it at all," Garcia said. "This is a gentleman's game and lately it hasn't felt like it has been that. This is the way I was brought up."
Garcia led all the way until the 16th as Fowler birdied that and sank a four-foot birdie at 18 for the victory.
Furyk, who at 43 is 18 years older than Fowler, was 3-down after six holes but squared his match with a nine-foot birdie putt at 12 and took his first lead with English made bogey at 14. English levelled with a birdie at 15 but Furyk chipped in from 30 feet at 16 and held on for his first trip to the Match Play last eight.
"I had been in this position before," Furyk said. "I was able to dig my way out."