Saturday, 19 May 2012
Nicolas Colsaerts  (Getty Images)
Nicolas Colsaerts (Getty Images)
Nicolas Colsaerts knocked out in-form Justin Rose with a superb 4 and 3 victory in the last 16 of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Last year’s semi-finalist was approximately six under par when the contest finished as he again displayed his liking for the format.

Rose, who recorded comprehensive group victories over Robert Rock and Open Champion Darren Clarke, swiftly found himself two down as Colsaerts birdied the second and third.

The WGC-Cadillac Championship winner eagled the driveable fourth to pull a hole back, but lost the seventh to par and conceded the eighth.

Rose took the ninth, but Colsaerts won three of the first five after the turn to seal victory.

And afterwards the Englishman tipped The European Tour’s longest hitter to win the tournament.

“I actually boxed a good fight, but I ended up in the cuts room getting stitched up,” he said.

“Nicolas, he played really well - he was seven under par today through 15 holes. He just played a wonderful round of golf. 

“I was three down a couple of times, got it back to two and on both occasions he came straight back with a birdie two on the par threes. 

“He kept closing the door, and I hit a drive out of my boots on 14, knocked it on the dance floor, as he did, and he rolled his in for another eagle. I think he had four or five twos out there on his scorecard. It's tough to play against. 

“Hopefully he'll go all the way. This course suits him, there's no doubt. His length around here is a huge advantage, and he's such a nice guy, too.  His short game, there's maybe a crack with the short game, but he kept making good putts and good up and downs and was tough to beat.

“I think I might have been a generous three under, but made a couple mistakes on the front nine. I guess this is match play - I'm 15 under on my own ball for three rounds of golf and going home.”

Colsaerts was set to face Brandt Snedeker in the last eight. The American overcame Colombia’s Camilo Villegas 3 and 2.

“I thought it was a great game,” said Colsaerts. “Obviously I played pretty good. 

“Justin made one or two mistakes, and like the last two days, he seemed to be playing very well early. I birdied, had a good start and put him in a situation he wasn't comfortable with and it was pretty good.

“We all knew that Justin was going to be quite a challenge, so I had to come up with a plan. But even though the wind is completely different to the one we played last year, it's still a course where I can take advantage of some of the holes, just like the way I did with an eagle on 14. There's a couple of holes where I can press down and try to make the most of it.”

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