It wasn’t much of a revenge when you consider the stigma on the United States when it comes to the Ryder Cup of late, but quite frankly Patrick Reed will take it.
The American knocked off European Ryder Cup favorite Jamie Donaldson 3 & 2 on Friday in the third day of round-robin play at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in London, guaranteeing himself a spot in Saturday’s quarterfinals while eliminating Donaldson from the competition.
Reed took the lead with a birdie on No. 3 and never relinquished it, up by four after 14 holes. Donaldson got one s hot back on 15, but it was too little too late.
The quarterfinal field has a distinctly Scandanavian feel to it: Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and Jonas Blixt; and Finland’s Mikko Ilonen will all play through on Saturday.
Stenson, the biggest name in the quarterfinal field, knocked off Thongchai Jaidee 2 & 1. Jaidee was down three through 14, then hit back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to get within one before Stenson’s eagle 2 on No. 17 ended it.
Fellow Swede Jonas Blixt halved his match with Paul Casey, sending the two into a tie for the second spot from the group at 1-1-1. They went to extra play, but Casey sent his first shot into the water, paving the way for Blixt to the quarterfinals. Before the playoff, both men fired a 62 over 18 holes – 10-under each.
Ilonen and Alexander Levy went right to the wire, with Ilonen holding on to a 1-hole lead from 15-18, but with Levy unable to match him down the stretch.
Filling out the field are Stephen Gallacher, Joost Luiten, George Coetzee and Pablo Larrazabal.
Larrazabal roared from behind for the second straight day, this time at the expense of Shane Lowry. Lowry went up a hole with his birdie on the par-5 No. 13, only to see Larrazabal rattle off three straight birdies of his own – the second on the par-5 No. 15 which Lowry double bogeyed.
Luiten shocked McDowell, the favorite’s second straight loss, after falling behind by three holes through eight. Luiten birdied 9, 10 and 12 to draw even before McDowell went back up one on 13. Luiten tied it back at 15, then birdied 17 and 18 to take the match.
Coetzee lost to Francesco Molinari 2&1, but still advanced thanks to his two earlier wins.