Quiros conquers Poulter in Spain

5/19/2012 10:44:59 AM
Alvaro Quiros  (Getty Images)
Alvaro Quiros (Getty Images)
Alvaro Quiros ended Ian Poulter’s defence of the Volvo World Match Play Championship with a stunning second-round display at Finca Cortesin. 

Poulter, after eight games unbeaten in the event, could not cope with his Spanish opponent – who has led the driving distance statistics for four of the last five seasons.

Quiros eventually ran out a 4 and 3 winner, and afterwards said: “I'm very happy. Obviously Ian is always a difficult guy to beat, even when he's not playing at his best and at the end I have to recognise that the happiest thing today is that I stayed together. 

“Ian is a great player, there's no doubt about it, especially in match play, but inside of that he's a human being like the others.”  

Poulter blamed a cold putter on his exit.

"I don't need excuses,” he said. "I had plenty of chances and didn't take them - simple. I just didn't play good enough."

Paul Lawrie's 500th European Tour event could still be one to remember after he marched impressively into the quarter-finals.

After topping his group the former Open Champion beat Dane Thomas Björn 5 and 4 to guarantee himself at least €92,500 and take another step towards a Ryder Cup return.

Björn, who squeezed through his group in a play-off, bogeyed the first two holes and by the eighth had had three more.

He did birdie the ninth to turn only four down, but Lawrie made a 14 foot birdie putt on the long 11th and halved the next three.

It is a big week for the 43 year old from Scotland, already fifth in The Ryder Cup points race and with a chance to move to second - especially after beating Swede Peter Hanson, the man currently in that spot, when they met at the group stage.

Lawrie has not played in the match since 1999, the year he came from a Major record ten shots back at Carnoustie to beat Jean Van de Velde and Justin Leonard in a play-off.

Retief Goosen awaits Lawrie in the last eight after the South African overcame Robert Rock 3 and 2, and the quarter-final line-up was complete when Rafael Cabrera-Bello came from two down to beat Swede Robert Karlsson - a late stand-in for the injured Paul Casey - by getting up and down from a bunker on the last.

It meant an all-Spanish clash with Quiros for a spot in the last four.

Lawrie was off to another good start, taking the first with par and third with birdie to be two up on Goosen, while Garcia also birdied the long third to lead against McDowell.

Lawrie went three up on the 494 yard par four seventh despite driving into a bunker. He found the green whereas Goosen carved his approach onto the next tee and saw his pitch hit the flag and rebound 14 feet away.

Colsaerts was doing even better, four up on Snedeker after six holes and winning them all with birdies, while Garcia and McDowell gave each other a hole to be level after eight.

Garcia twice failed to make it over a fairway bunker and conceded the seventh, but the Northern Irishman topped his second on the long eighth, took a penalty drop and lost that.

McDowell was favourite to lose the ninth when his pitch spun off the front of the green, but Garcia went long and he was the one to bogey.

Garcia turned one down, while Lawrie was four up after a two-putt birdie on the eighth and Colsaerts and Quiros led by three after eight and seven holes respectively.