The battle for the Volvo World Match Play Championship semi-finals would be more challenging for Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer as they will both be eyeing for the added incentive of bagging the world’s number one spot.
Englishman Donald defeated Kaymer 3 and 2 by playing superb golf three months ago in the WGC Matchplay Tournament finals.
Both got two holes to win their quarter-finals ties Saturday with Donald defeating Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Kaymer defeating Alvaro Quiros.
Lee Westwood, the present world number one, was sent packing when he lost in the final round of 16 game to Ian Poulter. With his defeat, Westwood has opened the way for second-ranked Kaymer or the third-ranked Donald to replace him on the world number one spot.
“I escaped this morning,” Donald said of his win at the first extra hole over Johan Edfors of Sweden, “but then I played a lot better and made it hard for Charl.”
Donald, who admitted that he may have been under the weather for the last three weeks, but he had beaten Kaymer so recently he has the psychological edge over him
An American writer invented two years ago the term “Luke Donald Disease” which described all golfers who are always in contention but rarely winning. When asked if he was suffering from the Disease, he said “If it’s brought on by hard work and belief, then yes it is.
“Luckily I don’t have to swing with my throat.”
Graeme McDowell, a member of the victorious Ryder Cup team, was however disappointed. Despite the top form he was in when he saw close friend Rory Mcllroy off this morning, McDowell lost 2 and 1 to Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts.
The flamboyant Englishman Poulter will be his opponent during the semi-final. Poulter is leading one after 17 after overturning a two hole deficit after 14 holes. His fine victory brought back memories when he beat Paul Casey in the final to win last year’s Arizona Matchplay tournament.