Sun, May 22, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Battle of the Irishmen to dominate Volvo World play


Fellow Northern Irishmen and Ryder Cup colleagues Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy on Friday set themselves up to meet in a mouth-watering Volvo World Match Play Championship last 16 clash to be played yesterday.

McDowell, the US Open champion, topped his group when he followed up his win over British Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa with a last green victory against Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas.

McIlroy, who defeated South Africa’s Retief Goosen by one hole in his Thursday opener, slumped to a shock 3 and 2 loss to Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts.

“Rory beats me every time we play together,” said McDowell. “But this isn’t the Northern Ireland match play championship and I’m hoping it’s going to be different. It’s the Volvo World Match Play and the pressure is on.”



Ireland’s Simon Thornton carded a second round 66 for a one shot lead at the halfway stage of the Madeira Islands Open on Friday.

The 33-year-old leads from France’s Frangois Delamontagne, with overnight leader Chris Gane and his English compatriot Jamie Elson tied for third on five under.

“I played well, and I drove and putted well in worse conditions yesterday,” Thornton said. “I just hit lots of fairways and my putter’s hot at the moment so it was a good round today.”

Gane was level par for the day, but still pleased with his work over the first two days.

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