Thursday, May 16, 2013


Graeme McDowell conjured a comprehensive 5&3 victory over Englishman Chris Wood on day one of the Volvo World Match Play Championship at the magnificent Thracian Cliffs and Beach Resort in Bulgaria. 
The 2010 US Open Champion produced the biggest win of the first eight matches in the championship as he looks to continue the victorious form that propelled him to victory on the PGA Tour just two weeks ago. 
On a day that also featured victories for Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Carl Pettersson, Francesco Molinari, Branden Grace and Peter Hanson, the most surprising result saw Thailand’s defeat pre-tournament favourite Ian Poulter 3 and 2. 
There was one halved match as American Bo Van Pelt and South African Richard Sterne finished all square in the first round of group stage matches.
The 24 players in the field are split into eight groups of three at the beginning of the tournament, with each player playing two matches and the top two from each group progressing to the knock-out stages. 
“To get the win under the belt today is very important as it really kind takes the pressure off going into tomorrow,” said McDowell.
“I played solid today and I really enjoy this golf course. It's very fiery, very linksy and suits my style of play, so I was happy the way I hit the golf ball today and I am starting to get my head around these greens and looking forward to some more good golf tomorrow.”
Volvo World Match Play Championship – Day 1 results:
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño bt Jamie Donaldson 1 hole.
Carl Pettersson bt Thorbjørn Olesen 4 and 3
Francesco Molinari bt Henrik Stenson 2 and 1
Branden Grace bt Nicolas Colsaerts 4 and 3
Bo Van Pelt all square with Richard Sterne
Peter Hanson bt George Coetzee 2 and 1
Thongchai Jaidee bt Ian Poulter 3 and 2
Graeme McDowell bt Chris Wood 5 and 3.




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