Lawrie a thorn in Rose's side

2/22/2012 7:53:06 PM
Paul Lawrie  (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie’s excellent run of form continued as he beat Justin Rose one up to reach the second round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

The Scot, making his first appearance in the event since 2003, turned two ahead but had to hold off a resurgent Rose as The Ryder Cup star came back with birdies on the 13th and 15th.

But the former Open Champion, an impressive winner in Qatar three weeks ago, made a solid par at the last and when his opponent failed to chip in from a greenside bunker it was all over. 

"I played solid," Lawrie said. "You want to play in these events, but there's no point playing if you come and get beat."

Rose's close friend and 2010 winner Ian Poulter, whose head-to-head prowess also brought him a title in the Volvo-sponsored version of the World Match Play in Spain last season, was in trouble when he bogeyed the 11th and 12th to fall two down to Bae Sang-moon.

For the second year running Graeme McDowell was beaten by Korea’s Y E Yang, having exited to the former US PGA Champion in the third round last year.

McDowell was out of the 64-man event before top two seeds Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy had even started against South Africans Ernie Els and George Coetzee respectively.

“I made six birdies today, I played decent golf but I ran into a man that played extremely well,” said McDowell.

Tiger Woods, beaten on the opening day by Thomas Björn last year, found himself two down after two to Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño.

Woods was the closer of the two on the first, but missed from seven feet after Fernandez-Castaño - currently on course for a Ryder Cup debut in September - had holed from ten.

The Madrid golfer then carved his drive down the long second into the desert, but Woods followed him and had to play his second shot left-handed.

England's Robert Rock, conqueror of Woods and the world's top four in Abu Dhabi last month, trailed Australia's World Number Eight Adam Scott by one after eight.

Simon Dyson lost the first two holes to Australia's John Senden and Open Champion Darren Clarke bogeyed the long second and then hit his tee shot into the lake on the next to fall two down to American Nick Watney.

Lawrie's fellow Scot Martin Laird, meanwhile, was on level terms with big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros after eight.

The second player through to the last 32, and the man who will face Lawrie on Thursday, was 20 year old Japanese player Ryo Ishikawa - and he knocked out FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, winner of the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles on Sunday. 

Haas bogeyed the last to lose after standing three up with five to go.

Poulter suffered a first-round defeat for the second successive year. 

Last February it came at the 19th to Stewart Cink, but on this occasion he was well-beaten 4 and 3 by Bae, playing the first World Golf Championships event of his career.

Woods came back to level with Fernandez-Castaño, winning the fifth with a par and the seventh with a 40 foot birdie putt.

Björn, conqueror of Woods at the 19th last year, went 20 holes on his return to the tournament - and then lost when Italian Francesco Molinari chipped in for an eagle.

Matteo Manassero followed his compatriot into round two with a 3 and 2 win over Webb Simpson, while Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel secured his passage through with a 3 and 2 victory over Gary Woodland.

It was looking like a good day for the European Tour Membership, with Robert Rock birdieing the 16th from 12 feet to go one up on Adam Scott.

American Ryder Cup team-mates Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk went two extra holes as well. Johnson, who had been three down earlier on, had to take a penalty drop from a bush there, but scrambled a par and won when his opponent three-putted.

Both Scots were still alive after Laird overcame Quiros with a superb approach to two feet on the last. He did not even have to make birdie after the Spaniard three-putted.

Woods turned things round to lead by one after eight, but wild shots on the tenth and 11th produced a double bogey and bogey to allow Fernandez-Castaño to nose in front again.

Donald was never behind in any game last year, but he was after just three holes this time as Els, called into the field when Phil Mickelson decided not to play, made the steadier start.