Nicolas Colsaerts beat Justin Rose in match play for the second time in his career to reach the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, and now the Belgian is hoping the week ends the same way as last time it happened.
The European Tour’s biggest hitter was a 4 and 2 winner over his Ryder Cup teammate at Dove Mountain, a year after beating him 4 and 3 in the Volvo World Match Play in Spain.
Colsaerts went on to win that week, and with seven of the top eight seeds going home after just two rounds the 30 year old’s odds in Arizona are shortening all the time.
“I didn't feel particularly bad about playing Justin, but I knew that when you play somebody of the stature of Justin, it can always go very fast one way or the other,” said Colsaerts, who after losing the first recovered to be three up after seven and had four threes in five holes from the 12th after his opponent briefly threatened a revival.
“Having beaten Justin last year, I felt pretty confident going out knowing if I played my game I would have a fair chance to do the job; but then anything can happen.
“I thought I played really good. Could have been maybe a bit more intuitive on certain occasions I had to put the foot down, but I played pretty good the last couple of holes and made sure this game wasn't really going to go too far.
“There are a couple of corners, a couple of carries I can take on, and if it works out, I have much shorter irons into greens than some of the other guys. So if I'm on, I'm going to give myself a lot of birdie tries.
“Obviously match play you want to hole a few, and if that happens, you're probably going to come out on top.”
McDowell came to the last one down after Noren birdied the 17th from the fairway bunker, but he then fired in a brilliant approach of his own to three feet and holed to take the game into sudden death.