Andalucia, Spain – Graeme McDowell defeated Sergio Garcia on the first extra hole Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.
McDowell, who missed a five-foot putt that would've won on the 18th hole, was the beneficiary of a Garcia mistake on the first extra hole.
McDowell had 35 feet for birdie back at the 18th at Finca Cortesin Golf Club, and ran his putt almost five feet past the hole. Garcia had 15 feet for birdie and the win, but the Spaniard knocked his try four feet past the cup.
The 2010 U.S. Open champion converted his par save to put the pressure on Garcia.
He wasn't up to the challenge.
Garcia missed his short par save to give McDowell the 1-up victory and a spot in Sunday's semifinals.
McDowell will meet Rafael Cabrera-Bello on Sunday. Cabrera-Bello won his all- Spanish quarterfinal match against Alvaro Quiros, 3 & 1, thanks to some great play late.
Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie had little trouble Saturday with Retief Goosen. Lawrie, a 5 & 4 winner over Thomas Bjorn in the round of 16, trounced Goosen, who bested Robert Rock 3 & 2 in the morning, 6 & 5.
Lawrie will play Nicolas Colsaerts in the semifinals.
Colsaerts nearly squandered a 4-up lead, but won three holes in a row late to best Brandt Snedeker, 4 & 3. Colsaerts knocked off Justin Rose, 4 & 3 in the round of 16 and Snedeker handled Camilo Villegas, 3 & 2.
McDowell defeated Richard Finch, 3 & 2, in the third round, and Garcia bested Tom Lewis, 4 & 3 Saturday morning.
Cabrera-Bello toppled Robert Karlsson on the first playoff hole in the round of 16, while Quiros eliminated last year's winner, Ian Poulter, 4 & 3.
The first match of the quarterfinals was by far the most-anticipated.
McDowell was the fifth seed and Garcia the fourth. Neither built more than 1- up lead during the match, but McDowell took the lead late with a par and win at 16.
The two halved the par-three 17th and Garcia hit what appeared to be a spectacular drive at the par-five closing hole, but it rolled into a bunker.
The hole played into the wind, so both laid up with their seconds. Garcia knocked his third 30 feet short of the flag, then McDowell hit a terrible approach left of the green.
Garcia two-putted for par and McDowell played his fourth to five feet. He missed the par putt and it was back to the 18th tee.
Garcia seemed to have the advantage, but once again, the putter let him down. His four-foot putt grazed the hole, but stayed above ground and McDowell was on to the semifinals.
"I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I was going home, but sometimes you have to win ugly and sometimes to win you need what just happened to me," said McDowell. "I count myself lucky."
Cabrera-Bello was 3-down after seven holes, but won three in a row from the 10th. He moved in front with a win at 15, then holed a long birdie try to win the 16th. Cabrera-Bello closed out the match with a spectacular tee ball to four feet to set up birdie at 17.
"I have to play G-Mac, and he has a lot of experience and is a Ryder Cup hero, so he's obviously going to be a very, very tough guy to beat," said Cabrera- Bello.
Lawrie jumped out on the two-time U.S. Open champion Goosen with wins at one and three. He added two more holes at seven and eight to go 4-up at the turn.
Lawrie birdied the par-five 11th to win the hole, and, after a win with par at the 13th, the match was over.
The 1999 British Open champion definitely has his sights set on another match- play event, later in the year - The Ryder Cup.
"I'm not thinking about there even if I win this week," Lawrie said. "A lot of things could happen and a lot of tournaments to be played. Two or three guys could go on an unbelievable run and win two or three events, and you could easily get passed."
Colsaerts chugged out to a 4-up lead through six. Snedeker captured three holes in a row around the turn to tighten things up, but Colsaerts snapped off three wins in a row from the 13th to take the match.
"When you get to the stage like this, you expect everybody to be tough," said Colsaerts. "It's your job to play well, produce and get the job done. It's fantastic to play well in these events. There's a lot of positives."
NOTES: Colsaerts made the semifinals last year, but lost to eventual winner, Poulter...McDowell made it to the quarterfinals, but fell to Colsaerts in the semis...McDowell owns seven European Tour titles, Cabrera-Bello has two, including this year's Dubai Desert Classic. Lawrie also has seven tour wins, including at Qatar this season, and Colsaerts visited the winner's circle once.