Ryder Cup hopefuls Matt Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood sealed their places in the second round of the Paul Lawrie Match Play with 4&3 wins at Archerfield in East Lothian.
The English duo of Matt Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood currently occupy automatic spots in Darren Clarke’s European Ryder Cup team with less than four weeks until the qualification campaign comes to an end. Both moved easily into the second round of the knock-out competition at Archerfield.
Fitzpatrick faced a tough first round examination, as he went up against Darren Clarke’s Ryder Cup vice captain, Thomas Bjørn. But the 21-year-old British Masters and Nordea Masters champion produced some of his best golf of the year to take down the Dane 4&3.
“I drove it well. Putted well. Chipped well. Yeah, don’t know a better way to say it. I putted a lot better today than I have for the past few weeks and that was the difference,” he said. “It’s all new to me but at the same time, I have got high expectations, and I know where I want to get to.”
Chris Wood overcame Australian Brett Rumford also by 4&3.
“I’m very pleased to beat Brett. He’s a nice player and when I saw the draw, I thought, that’s a tricky game because he has got such a great short game,” Wood said. “It’s good to win your first game obviously. Just try and get a little bit of momentum in the tournament now and hopefully go quite far.”
With 32 matches on day one at Archerfield, there was some great golf during the day. The tournament host, Paul Lawrie, overcame Lucas Bjerregaard 4&2,
“I played lovely today. I have kind of been struggling a wee bit with a sore neck the last sort of ten days but today I felt fully fit, to be fair, and when I feel like that, I feel as though I can make birdies,” Lawrie said.
Paul Lawrie on how to play the punch shot:
“This is obviously the second year of the event and we learned an awful lot last year, and I think this year — last year was a good event, but this year, it just seems that little bit better. Everyone’s kind of learning from last year and we’ve kept admission prices the same. So we’d like a lot of people to come down and enjoy it, only £15 to get in and everyone under 18 is free. Everyone is working hard and I think it’s a great event.”
Lawrie’s countryman Richie Ramsay took the scalp of David Howell on the 18th to win 1-up while Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open champion Alex Noren eased past Scotland’s Scott Jamieson 5&4.
Another Scot, Stephen Gallacher, had a disappointing return from injury as he came up against a red-hot Renato Paratore who putted magnificently to post the biggest victory of the day of 7&6.
While Paratore and Gallacher completed only 12 holes, Oli Fisher took another 10 holes to eventually overcome American Peter Uihlein in sudden-death.
With high winds forecast for Sunday at Archerfield, it has been decided that both the second and third rounds will be played on Friday with the quarter-finals and semi-finals to take place on Saturday. The final and 3rd/4th play-off matches scheduled for Sunday.
First round results
Haydn Porteous (RSA) bt John Parry (ENG) 19th hole
David Horsey (ENG) bt Sébastien Gros (FRA) 6 & 4
James Morrison (ENG) bt Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 6 & 5
Graeme Storm (ENG) bt Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 2 & 1
Simon Khan (ENG) bt Pablo Larrazábal (ESP) 2 & 1
Oliver Fisher (ENG) bt Peter Uihlein (USA) 22nd hole
Johan Carlsson (SWE) bt Morten Ørum Madsen (DEN) 2 & 1
Robert Rock (ENG) bt Gary Stal (FRA) 3 & 2
Marc Warren (SCO) bt Jorge Campillo (ESP) 3 & 2
Magnus Carlsson (SWE) bt Chase Koepka (USA) 4 & 3
Matthew Southgate (ENG) bt Kristoffer Broberg (SWE) 19th hole
Michael Hoey (NIR) bt David Drysdale (SCO) 4 & 3
Richie Ramsay (SCO) bt David Howell (ENG) 1 UP
Roope Kakko (FIN) bt Grégory Havret (FRA) 20th hole
Chris Paisley (ENG) bt Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 2 & 1
Prom Meesawat (THA) bt David Lipsky (USA) 1 UP
Richard Green (AUS) bt Lee Slattery (ENG) 3 & 2
Paul Lawrie (SCO) bt Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 4 & 2
Eduardo De La Riva (ESP) bt Calum Shinkwin (ENG) 19th hole
Alejandro Cañizares (ESP) bt Mike Lorenzo Vera (FRA) 19th hole
Mikko Ilonen (FIN) bt Jin Jeong (KOR) 3 & 2
Maximilian Kieffer (GER) bt Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 3 & 2
Nacho Elvira (ESP) bt Oliver Wilson (ENG) 2 & 1
Craig Lee (SCO) bt Raphaël Jacquelin (FRA) 3 & 2
Richard Bland (ENG) bt Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 2&1
Anthony Wall (ENG) bt Robert Dinwiddie (ENG) 3 & 2
Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) bt Thomas Bjørn (DEN) 4 & 3
Matt Ford (ENG) bt Pelle Edberg (SWE) 3 & 2
Chris Wood (ENG) bt Brett Rumford (AUS) 4 & 3
Daniel Brooks (ENG) bt Gareth Wright (WAL) 4 & 3
Alex Noren (SWE) bt Scott Jamieson (SCO) 5 & 4
Renato Paratore (ITA) bt Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 7 & 6