Poulter progresses in Arizona

2/23/2013 7:17:00 PM
Ian Poulter  (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter (Getty Images)
England's Ian Poulter eased into the last eight of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson after a commanding victory over Tim Clark in the last 16.

Poulter, who won this tournament in 2010, started on the back nine and moved three up by the turn despite managing just one birdie.

Pars at the 16th, 17th and 18th were sufficient for Poulter to take charge as Clark delivered a hat-trick of bogeys.

A par at the third had Poulter further in command while a birdie at the sixth - the first time in the round that the 37 year old was required to go under par to win a hole - saw him to a routine win.

“It was job done today,” said Poulter, who was set to face birthday boy Steve Stricker in the last eight.

“I think my short game was on today. I missed a few greens in the wrong spots, but managed to get up and down, and when I hit greens, I had great birdie opportunities. 

“That's always tough when you make so many pars and make a few birdies to obviously be beaten, and I was pretty pleased with that today.”

Stricker, 46 today, eased past Scott Piercey when he holed a brilliant 20 foot downhill putt at the last.

Robert Garrigus earlier became the first player to book his place in the quarter-finals after defeating Fredrik Jacobson 3 and 1.

American Garrigus, 35, is making his first appearance at the event in Arizona and kept himself in the hunt for an unlikely triumph as he comfortably saw off his Swedish opponent.

Jacobson and Garrigus were the first players to tee off today after freezing conditions in the early morning forced organisers to delay the start by 45 minutes.

Garrigus won four holes to Jacobson's one over the front nine to build up a commanding advantage, but the Swede roared back after the turn to pull level on the back of birdies at the 11th, 12th and 13th.

Garrigus regrouped, however, a birdie at the 14th followed up by an eagle on the 15th as he wrapped up his win with a hole to spare.

He was set to face Matt Kuchar, who ended Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts run with a 4 and 3 victory.

Jason Day sent home the highest remaining seed in Bubba Watson with a 4 and 3 win over the Masters Tournament Champion, while defending champion Hunter Mahan made light work of Martin Kaymer 5 and 4.

Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño mounted a brave fightback from four down against US Open Champion Webb Simpson, but, having taken their contest down the last, three-putted and so bowed out.