Shane Lowry and Peter Hanson were delighted to progress from the Arnold Palmer bracket at the Volvo World Match Play Championship after both players finished level on points with George Coetzee.
Swede Hanson had beaten Coetzee on the opening day, but when the South African overcame Lowry in the morning session the Irishman had to win against Ryder Cup star Hanson in the afternoon to retain any hope of reaching the last 16.
The Portugal Masters champion proceeded to lead from the first hole in a comprehensive 5 and 4 victory, which forced a three-way sudden death play-off for the two places in the weekend’s knock-out rounds.
At the second extra hole Lowry secured his place with a birdie, and was joined by Hanson as Coetzee failed to save par.
“It was a rollercoaster of a day,” said Lowry.
“I played George this morning, played okay, struggled on the greens and got beaten there. I knew I had to do a better job against Peter in the afternoon and managed to play lovely and hole a few putts and get a win nice and early.
“I just missed a birdie putt at the first play-off hole and hit a beautiful five iron into six or eight feet on the second and managed to hole it.
“I was just saying to Darren, my caddie, George is a bit unlucky with the way it worked out. He's got the whole afternoon in his room and we've seen the second hole already. We've hit the shot, and it was pretty much the same club as we played earlier on.
“One major bonus is you get to play this golf course again. It's a great place and it's great to be here.”
Hanson admitted to being a relieved man, having been outclassed in the afternoon session by a resurgent Lowry.
“It feels great,” he said. “Shane played very well today and I didn't have a chance in the regular match.
“It's feeling great now that I made it through. I got beaten badly after Shane played very well and I was losing a few balls off the tee.”