Nicolas Colsaerts shades Graeme McDowell to gain Match Play triumph


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The Independent Online

Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts became Volvo World Match Play champion yesterday, beating Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell in the final at a windswept Finca Cortesin in Spain.

Colsaerts, who knocked McDowell (right) out at the quarter-final stage last year, won on the last after a game in which he was ahead on four separate occasions.

His performance takes him into the world's top 50 for the first time and lifts him into an automatic qualifying place for the Ryder Cup. Victory also earned him a winner's check of €700,000 (£566,000), taking him above €1m in prize-money for the second straight season.

He had come from four down after four to beat Scot Paul Lawrie at the 20th in the morning semi-finals, while McDowell got the better of Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello on the last.

"I had to dig deep all day, the conditions this afternoon were brutal and we had to fight and grind all the way," said the 29-year-old, who has had seven top 10 finishes in 11 tournaments so far this year. "I can't feel anything right now, to have my name on this trophy next to major winner and all these players, it's a dream come true.

"When you play Graeme in these conditions you know it's going to be tough because he's [Northern] Irish and plays lots of links golf. But I've been playing well for a while now."