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Saturday, 18 May 2013
Thomas Aiken  (Getty Images)
Thomas Aiken (Getty Images)

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As 16 becomes eight come the conclusion of the last-16 matches at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria, europeantour.com summarises the thoughts of the victors…

Branden Grace (after beating Brett Rumford 4&3)
“The wind was a big factor; it was really blowing out there.  It was more of a case of just hitting the greens and trying to keep it in play.  When I got the lead going, Zack told me, listen, play from the middle of the greens and take your pars and he'll obviously make a putt here and there but let him come towards you and make the mistakes and that's pretty much what happened.  The player that he is, you knew he was going to make a comeback, and he made four in a row to get the nerves going a little bit up. But just one good swing led to another and I was fortunate to make a couple of putts.”

Chris Wood (after beating Richard Sterne 5&3)
“When I saw the draw last night, I thought it was going to be a tough game.  He battles away and obviously has been in good form at the start of this year as well.  He's a grindy sort of player which in match play is always tough to beat.  I felt like I never really gave him anything this morning and just played my normal game.  A bit of wind probably helped me, I liked playing in the wind and told myself to just keep trying to play the fairways and middle of the greens and you're not going to be too far off. It's nice to finally get it done.”

Francesco Molinari (after beating Carl Pettersson 6&4)
“It's a golf course that suit my eye as soon as I got here, the first round I played, I liked many of the holes.  But some tee shots are really quite scary because we are hitting from a long way into small fairways usually with side breeze, so it's not easy. I'm hitting the ball well and I just found some confidence in these few days, so hopefully it will serve me well the next few matches.”

Thomas Aiken (after beating Shane Lowry on the 19th hole)
“It was a close match and I just tried to grind and stay in there, and it's match play – it’s never over until it's over.  Lucky I got out of there with a win. The last two days have been extremely tiring, I seem to have been playing as many holes on the golf course as I can! The last two days have been extremely tiring.”

Scott Jamieson (after beating Felipe Aguilar one up)
On holing a putt to win at the last: “It's great.  That's why we play golf I suppose is for moments like that.  It's great to be able to hold a putt when it really matters. I think the hardest thing is handling this amount of golf, mentally.  Hopefully I'm young enough and fit enough to be able to handle the hills around here.  You’ve just got to keep going and try to escape from golf between your shots and it's easy to do here with the beautiful scenery.”

Nicolas Colsaerts (after beating Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 2 up)
“I should have ended this game about an hour, an hour and a half ago.  I have a putt to win the game on the 13th and then there's a par five and I just made a bit of a mess of it.  Thank God it's over! This afternoon I just have to make sure I don't make a mess of it like I did just now.”

Graeme McDowell (after beating Bo Van Pelt 1 up)
“You can never count a player of Bo Van Pelt's standard out of any match. I got off to a fast start again.  Every day, I've played those first eight holes beautifully, gone into that kind of loop and started kind of steering, which this golf course kind of makes you do and lost my rhythm a little bit.  Bo found his eye with the putter coming in and holed some nice putts and really kept me honest. It was nice to get the job done.”

On facing Colsaerts in the quarter finals: “A repeat of last year's final.  He's beaten me twice, the last two years running in this tournament.  So you could say I might owe him one.  We'll see, he's a great player, looking forward to getting out there.  I'm obviously relieved now just to get past Bo Van Pelt and go and prepare myself for this afternoon.”

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