Poulter advances; Kaymer, Clarke ousted at match play

Defending champion Ian Poulter earned his second win in as many days Friday to advance to the knockout stage of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Poulter, who beat John Senden on Thursday, bested Tom Lewis, 4 & 3, on Friday. In his other round-robin match earlier Friday, Lewis held off Senden, 1-up, as the Australian was eliminated at Finca Cortesin Golf Club.

"I don't think either of us were 100 percent switched on. I guess it was hard to get that adrenaline rush you normally get in match play," said Poulter of his match with Lewis.

The 24-player field was split into eight groups of three. The top two players from each group advanced after all three players in each group faced each other.

Camilo Villegas halved his match with Paul Lawrie on Friday morning, then the Colombian rolled to a 6 & 4 win over Peter Hanson. Lawrie beat Hanson on Thursday so the Swede was knocked out.

Branden Grace split his two matches on Friday. The South African fell 2 & 1 to Thomas Bjorn in the morning, then cruised past Snedeker, 4 & 3, in the afternoon. Those three all finished 1-1 as Snedeker trounced Bjorn, 5 & 4, on Thursday.

Snedeker birdied the first playoff hole to advance, then Bjorn took the second extra hole to eliminate Grace.

Justin Rose trounced British Open champion Darren Clarke, 6 & 4, Friday afternoon. Clarke also lost earlier in the day, 2-down to Robert Rock. With the two losses, Clarke was ousted.

Tetsuji Hiratsuka lost to Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros on Friday and was eliminated. Hiratsuka fell 5 & 4 to Quiros, before Garcia bested Hiratsuka 4 & 2 in the afternoon.

Jbe Kruger halved Robert Karlsson in the morning, before falling 4 & 3 to Graeme McDowell in the afternoon. Kruger then lost a playoff to Karlsson.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen fought through a balky back to win both his matches on Friday. Goosen held off Nicolas Colsaerts, 1-up, in the morning before taking down 2011 Masters champ Charl Schwartzel, 4 & 3, in the afternoon. Schwartzel missed a short putt in the playoff against Colsaerts and was ousted.

In the final match of the day, top-seeded Martin Kaymer missed a short par putt on the 18th hole to fall 1-down to Richard Finch. Earlier in the day, Finch dropped a 4 & 2 decision to Rafael Cabrera-Bello. Kaymer lost to the Spaniard on Thursday and was eliminated after missing the short par effort on the 18th.

Poulter fought through an injured ankle that occurred when a cart driver rolled onto the joint. He faces Quiros in the next round and the winner will advance to face the winner of the Karlsson - Cabrera-Bello match.

Villegas and Snedeker will face each other on Saturday with the winner getting the victor of the Rose - Colsaerts match. Rose, the No. 2 seed, is the highest remaining seed.

McDowell will battle Finch, and whoever advances will face whoever comes out on top of the Lewis - Garcia match.

Goosen and Rock will square off for the right to face the winner of the Bjorn - Lawrie match in the quarterfinals.

NOTES: Of the six major champions in the field, only three advanced thanks to Kaymer, Schwartzel and Clarke being ousted...Goosen, whose best finish was a tie for third, is the only player in the field who participated in this event more than two times prior to this year...The quarterfinals will take place Saturday afternoon, while the semifinals and finals are both slated for Sunday.