Irate Woods takes his leave at the last
Friday 24 February 2012
Lee Westwood has made it through to Friday at the World Match Play for the first time in 12 attempts and probably headed to TGI Fridays for his dinner.
But Tiger Woods does not know what day it is. He has no idea whether he is coming or going these days. For the record, he's going. He missed a five-foot putt at the last to lose by a hole to Nick Watney, who will now play Westwood in the last 16.
It was another head-scratching cat-kicking day for Woods. He spent time playing left-handed with his backside perilously close to a cactus. He threw a club in anger at the 10th. And he huffed and puffed and blew himself out. There is more evidence of continuing purgatory than a renaissance. That putt on the 18th was a sad reflection of the man formerly known as the world's greatest ever clutch putter.
Westwood, meanwhile, was in a rather better mood. "I dunno what Fridays are like here," he said. "First thing I'm going to do is fill up my car because I've never had to drive on a Friday before." Ah, the cheeky old chipper Westwood is back. Amazing what a couple of good days at the office will do. Only two weeks ago he stormed out of Dubai in a huff having blown a chance to win the Desert Classic.
Westwood set off against Robert Karlsson faster than his horse Hoof It. The Englishman hot footed it to four up after the front nine with three birdies and a gift from Karlsson. Westwood increased his lead at the 10th before throwing away the 11th like a weekend hacker nursing a hangover. He holed for a double bogey seven and lost the hole to a bogey six. It scarcely mattered as Karlsson was playing so poorly. Westwood even had the luxury of duffing another hole away by thinning a chip through the green into the galleries on the mound surrounding the 15th. Victory was his 3&2.
So what took so long for Westwood to get that Friday feeling? "I guess over the first two days I've started strongly, which is something that I've not done consistently over the last 12 or 11 years or whatever it's been," he said to much laughter."
So the race between Westwood and Rory McIlroy to be the new world No.1 is still on. McIlroy chipped in at the 14th to get to three up against Anders Hansen and closed him out 3&2. He next plays Miguel-Angel Jimenez. There's an all-Scottish clash in the last 16 between Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird. They cuffed the young 'uns Ryo Ishikawa and Matteo Manassero respectively. But they still can't pronounce Lawrie's name here. It should be "Lorry", the man who won the 1999 Open. But he's getting announced as "Lowry", the man who painted matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs.
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