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Friday, 18 May 2012
Richard Finch  (Getty Images)
Richard Finch (Getty Images)
England’s Richard Finch knocked out top seed Martin Kaymer as three Major Champions exited at the first round stage of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

The World Number Nine from Germany missed a three footer on the last and, having also lost to Rafael Cabrera-Bello, there was no reprieve for the former US PGA Championship winner.

Finch, whose third-place finish in last month's Volvo China Open qualified him for the 24-man field because top two Branden Grace and Nicolas Colsaerts already had places, next plays Graeme McDowell.

Northern Ireland's 2010 US Open Champion made it two wins out of two, following his last-green success over Robert Karlsson with a 4 and 3 victory over South African Jbe Kruger.

Karlsson, who stepped in on Sunday for the injured Paul Casey, is still alive after beating Kruger in a play-off. He will meet Cabrera-Bello.

Scot Paul Lawrie, in his 500th European Tour event, won his group, but only in a play-off with Colombian Camilo Villegas after they halved.

It is Dane Thomas Björn next for the former Open Champion. Björn was involved in a three-way shoot-out with American Brandt Snedeker and Grace.

Snedeker, reunited with his own full set of clubs after they failed to arrive for the start of the event yesterday and he set off with ten borrowed ones, birdied the first extra hole and will now take on Villegas.

Retief Goosen won twice on day two to secure his passage into the last 16, where he will face Robert Rock.

Having beaten Colsaerts on the final green, the South African overcame compatriot Charl Schwartzel 4 and 3 in the afternoon to top his group.

Having halved their opening match on Thursday, Schwartzel and Colsaerts went into a play-off to determine the second qualifier and the Belgian prevailed with a birdie at the first extra hole.

The 2011 Masters Tournament winner and Kaymer were joined in an early trip to the airport by Open Champion Darren Clarke, who saw his hopes ended 6 and 5 by Justin Rose.

Clarke had also lost to Rock earlier in the day in a contest that went to the final green.

The 43 year old has yet to survive a halfway cut this season and has still to record his first top-ten finish since his memorable triumph at Sandwich last summer.

Rose, in contrast, has not gone beyond the 14th hole in either of his games - he beat Rock 7 and 6.

Rose went four up on the 574 yard eighth even though he hit only one shot there. Clarke pulled his drive into bushes, the ball was never found and he decided not to return to the tee, leaving Rose to face Colsaerts in round two.

Defending champion Ian Poulter, Rose's great friend and Ryder Cup partner in 2008, is still going strong and they could meet in Sunday's final.

After Australian John Senden lost to both Poulter and 21 year old Tom Lewis, the only thing at stake when the two Englishmen - both Hertfordshire players - clashed was who topped the group. Both were already through.


Poulter won it 4 and 3 to set up a meeting with big-hitting Alvaro Quiros, while Lewis, who won the Portugal Masters last October in only his third start as a professional, is also up against Spanish opposition in Sergio Garcia.


"I don't think either of us were 100 per cent switched on - I guess it was hard to get that adrenaline rush you normally get in match play," said Poulter, who beat Luke Donald in last year's final.


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
-SENDEN, JohnAUS-
-SNEDEKER, BrandtUSA-
-VILLEGAS, CamiloCOL-
-LAWRIE, PaulSCO-
-CLARKE, DarrenNIR-
-COLSAERTS, NicolasBEL-
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