Nicolas Colsaerts won the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain. The Belgian defeated Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell on the final hole.
Colsaerts had faced Paul Lawrie in the morning semi-final and it looked as though the Scot would progress easily after the early exchanges; Lawrie was four-up through the first four holes. But Colsaerts fought back and levelled the match on the back nine. The Scot moved one ahead again after the 16th but then a thunderstorm called a temporary halt to proceedings.
When play resumed Colsaerts was able to capitalise on his length on the par-5 last by getting into the greenside bunker in two. He got up and down from there, and the match was halved.
Extra holes were required and Colsaerts prevailed on the second of them – the 18th once again.
In the other semi-final, Graeme McDowell came through a hard fought contest against Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
In the final, Colsaerts gained the upper hand three times towards the end of the front nine but each time the Northern Irishman levelled.
At the start of the back nine the pair were all square but McDowell made a bogey at the 11th and then another at the 13th to fall two behind. He got one back at the 14th by driving the par-4 green, but went two down again after the 16th.
Colsaerts gave McDowell a glimmer of hope with a three-putt on the 17th, but the 29-year-old composed himself to close the match out on the 18th.
The victory was an important one for the Belgian. Not only did he secure a sizeable winner’s cheque, but he has also moved into an automatic qualifying spot for the Ryder Cup.
“It means everything to win this,” Colsaerts said. “I played well in tough conditions. Wind like this, you know it’s going to be very difficult. Graeme McDowell, he’s won the US Open, so he’s used to playing in tough conditions. I knew that it was going to be a tough game in conditions like these.”
Volvo World Match Play Championship
Finca Cortesin, Casares, Spain
17-20 May, purse €1,268,644, par 72
1 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) €458,333
2 Graeme McDowell (NIR) €305,555
T3 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) €154,825
T3 Paul Lawrie (Sco) €154,825
T5 Sergio Garcia (Esp) €91,025
T5 Retief Goosen (RSA) €91,025
T5 Alvaro Quiros (Esp) €91,025
T5 Brandt Snedeker (USA) €91,025
T9 Thomas Bjorn (Den) €47,506
T9 Richard Finch (Eng) €47,506
T9 Robert Karlsson (Swe) €47,506
T9 Tom Lewis (Eng) €47,506
T9 Ian Poulter (Eng) €47,506
T9 Robert Rock (Eng) €47,506
T9 Justin Rose (Eng) €47,506
T9 Camilo Villegas (Col) €47,506
Note: Player result in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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