Sergio Garcia (Getty Images)
Sergio Garcia is looking to lead a strong home challenge over the weekend at the Volvo World Match Play Championship after winning his group.
Garcia faces 21 year old Tom Lewis in the second round after beating compatriot Alvaro Quiros and Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka.
Quiros joins him in the last 16, having beaten Hiratsuka 5 and 4 in the morning session, with Rafael Cabrera-Bello making it a hattrick of Spaniards through after wins over Martin Kaymer and Richard Finch.
“I wasn't hitting the best of shots, but somehow I found a way of getting the ball in play and hitting a couple decent iron shots, gave myself good birdie chances on 11 and 12 and 15, and rolled a good putt in to get things going,” said Garcia, after his 4 and 2 victory over Hiratsuka.
“I obviously got a little bit fortunate because neither of my playing partners played great the first two days. I got on a good run today after starting poorly the first seven holes.
“Overall I think it was a mix of hitting a couple of good shots at the right times, and getting a little bit lucky.
“Throughout my career, I've been fairly good at match play. As a professional, maybe not as good but as an amateur I was usually pretty good. It's nice to get a couple of wins and hopefully we'll play well tomorrow and have a chance of winning again.”
Quiros now faces defending champion Poulter, while Cabrera-Bello takes on Robert Karlsson after ensuring top seed Kaymer went out in the first round.
“I'm very pleased,” said the Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner after his morning win against Finch.
“I played really good today again. Richard fought back really hard so it was a really, really tough match.
“I was lucky enough that I could pull a few clear at the beginning, similar to the way I did yesterday, and the rest of the game, I protected my lead and managed to win a lot of holes again.
“It’s potentially a long weekend. I'm playing really good but this is match play and you never know what's going to happen. I’ll just play one match at a time, one hole at a time, and hopefully we can have a long weekend.”