G-Mac eliminated at Volvo Match Play

Defending champion Graeme McDowell crashed out of the Volvo World Match Play on Friday after going down to Joost Luiten.

The Dutchman was able to come from three holes down to complete a two-hole victory and end McDowell’s week at the London Golf Club.

“(I’m) very disappointed of course by my defence but (there’s) quality golf out there. The golf course is set up to be ripped apart and unless you’re shooting 64, 65, you’re going home,” said McDowell.

Fellow Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson was also eliminated after being beaten 3&2 by American Patrick Reed, who was able to get a measure of revenge for last month’s defeat at Gleneagles.

Reed never trailed in the match, carding five birdies and taking full advantage whenever Donaldson made a mistake, as he did on the 11th when he three-putted from close range.

“It feels good. The first round felt like I didn’t make any putts. When you lose the first one, you know your back is up against the wall and you have to win going out,” said Reed.

“To be able to play very solidly the last two rounds, especially late in the day, I made a lot of putts and today I made a lot of clutch and solid putts, which is key to match play.”

The match between Paul Casey and Jonas Blixt was halved, but it was Blixt who advanced to the quarter-finals after Casey found the water and lost the first sudden-death extra hole.

“Paul played great, especially on the back nine. He definitely put a lot of pressure on me and snuck away with a couple holes. I snuck away with a couple holes, as well,” said Blixt.

“It was just a great match. I talked to my caddie about it and we were like, this is how we want to play a golf match.”

Victor Dubuisson lost his match to Stephen Gallacher 2&1, but he had already qualified for the last eight by wining his first two matches. Gallacher had already been eliminated after losing his first two, so the match was a dead rubber.

Henrik Stenson easily advanced after winning his third consecutive match, 2&1 over Thongchai Jaidee, while Mikko Ilonen also moved on after narrowly beating Alexander Levy.

George Coetzee also advanced despite losing 2 and 1 to Francesco Molinari.

Pablo Larrazabal was the last man to go through after beating Shane Lowry 2&1.

The quarter-final line-up will pit Coetzee against Reed, Dubuisson versus Ilonen, Luiten against Larrazabal and Stenson versus Blixt in a Swedish showdown.