Howell win sets up Mickelson meeting
Friday 24 February 2006
Four birdies in five holes gave David Howell his second victory at the World Match Play Championship here in California last night and set him up for a meeting with Phil Mickelson.
On a day that saw Colin Montgomerie struggle again and go out to Japan's Shingo Katayama, the 30-year-old Howell beat American Scott Verplank 3 & 2, while Mickelson ended the hopes of John Daly 2 & 1.
On having to face the world No 5 on his home turf for a place in the quarter-finals, Howell said: "It will make it more of a feather in my cap if I win. I'm just going to have to go out and shoot a good score. If you can get round in five or six under, anybody is going to struggle to beat you. I've changed my grip a bit, which takes a bit of getting used to, but I played well on the back nine and I'm more confident on the greens."
Verplank was the conqueror of Lee Westwood after a record-equalling 26-hole marathon in the first round, but he could do nothing about Howell making successive birdies of two, six and 10 feet from the 13th after they were all square with six to play.
Montgomerie had somehow survived against Niclas Fasth on the opening day despite scoring a five-over-par 77 he won at the fifth extra hole and Katayama needed to be only level par to beat the Scot 3 & 2. Birdies at the 11th and 12th left Montgomerie only one down but he bogeyed the 14th and 15th, three-putting the second of those from only 20 feet.
Tiger Woods survived a tough match against Australia's Robert Allenby before winning on the final hole. American Tom Lehman defeated ninth seed Adam Scott on the last and next meets David Toms, who beat Jose Maria Olazabal 2 & 1.
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