US Open champion Graeme McDowell comfortably saw off fellow Ulsterman and Ryder Cup partner Rory McIlroy 3-and-2 in the last 16 of the Volvo World Match Play Championship on Saturday.
In a match between the fifth and sixth ranked players in the world, McDowell jumped out into an early lead when McIlroy three-putted the first and then fell two down after hitting into the lake on the long third.
McIlroy won the fifth to cut the gap, but McDowell was two up again thanks to a birdie two on the short next.
The younger of the two Irishmen, McIlroy then three-putted again at the long eighth to fall three down, but he pulled out an invaluable 18-footer on the next to avoid turning four behind.
There was no way back from there for McIlroy as McDowell held firm to clinch a 3-and-2 win that puts him into a quarter-final matchup against in form Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts who edged Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas at the par-five 18th.