Rose and Colsaerts set for showdown

2/21/2013 11:58:00 PM
Justin Rose   (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)
Two of Europe's Ryder Cup heroes will play each other in the second round after the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship shook off the snow in Arizona.

It will be Justin Rose against Nicolas Colsaerts following contrasting victories.

The first World Golf Championships of the year is playing catch-up after an amazing snowstorm cut short the opening day, and then another overnight meant the resumption was delayed until 1pm.

Belgian Colsaerts easily dispatched American Bill Haas 5 and 4, but Rose breathed a huge sigh of relief when he saw off South Korean K J Choi following the loss of a four hole lead.

Fifth seed Rose was even in danger of falling behind at the 15th, but sank a 15 foot birdie putt and Choi missed from 12.

He did not even need to putt two holes later as his 42 year old opponent got in trouble and conceded, but Rose said: "I said at the beginning of the week it comes down to that one moment in the round where you need to make something happen.

"That moment for me was on 15. I was looking like I was going one down. To make a putt when I really needed it feels good and I felt like that's what I've begun to do a lot recently."

He did, of course, produce a breathtaking finish to beat Phil Mickelson at The Ryder Cup and then won the World Golf Final in Turkey two weeks later with wins over Lee Westwood (twice), Tiger Woods, US Open Champion Webb Simpson and this week's defending champion Hunter Mahan.

"It'll be a tough game," Rose said of his match against Colsaerts.

"But it's obviously one that I'm looking forward to - and I'll have to make some birdies."

Another all-Ryder Cup clash was on the cards, but Medinah match-winner Martin Kaymer, who beat South African George Coetzee 2 and 1, was kept waiting to discover his opponent when Westwood lost a three-hole lead and was taken into sudden death by Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello.

Westwood bogeyed the 12th and 14th, got his nose back in front on the next, but dropped another shot at the last.

Two more of José María Olazábal's side, 2010 winner Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, did make progress.

Poulter, playing his first event since the first week of January, beat Scotland's Stephen Gallacher, recent winner of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, 2 and 1.

Garcia could have limited his day's work to a 12 foot putt on the 16th, but rather than holing it to win he three-putted and, with Thai Thongchai Jaidee grabbing a birdie two holes later, he had to go to the 20th to claim victory.

"I'm fully aware of my early exits the last couple years," Poulter said, "and I obviously didn't want to do that again."

Top seeds Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were among the 20 players who did not hit a shot on the opening day and when they eventually made it onto the course they were involved in tough games.

McIlroy was all square with his former Irish amateur teammate Shane Lowry after ten holes of a game that saw both of them go in the water on the short third, but also McIlroy chipping in to halve the long eighth in birdies.

That was the second all-Irish duel. In the first Graeme McDowell was two up on Padraig Harrington after 12.

Woods, meanwhile, trailed his former Presidents Cup team-mate Charles Howell by one after at the turn - and it remained to be seen if they could finish before nightfall.

Third seed Luke Donald was one up after ten on German Marcel Siem and Scot Richie Ramsay had the chance to put out fourth seed Louis Oosthuizen when he held the same advantage after 12.

Dane Thorbjørn Olesen got the better of Welshman Jamie Donaldson 3 and two in the battle of the tournament debutants, and exacted some revenge after the same player pipped him to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship last month.

“It was difficult yesterday the first seven holes we played, but I holed out really well yesterday, and that was important,” said Olesen. 

“I played solid today, not specific but really solid. Holed a few putts, and that's what you need to do in this game.”

McIlroy may have chipped in at eight, but Lowry replied in kind for a half at the 11th and when he did it again from over the next green he led the World Number One for the first time.

Woods still trailed by one and Donald fell behind Siem before getting back on terms with a birdie at the 13th.

Ramsay, meanwhile went from two up to one behind as Oosthuizen found form on the back nine and McDowell got back in front when Harrington bogeyed the 16th.

McIlroy, who missed the cut in Abu Dhabi on his only previous start this year, was in real trouble when Lowry followed his two chip-ins with a glorious second to the long 13th.

It came back down the slope at the back of the green to two feet and when he conceded the eagle putt McIlroy was two down with five to go.