• Volvo World Match Play Championship, Day Four

McDowell holds nerve to book place in final

ESPN staff
May 20, 2012 « Price: It's too soon for the Klitschkos | Chartbeat test »

Graeme McDowell moved into the final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship after finally extinguishing Rafael Cabrera-Bello's comeback on the final hole.

McDowell was two ahead with four holes remaining before play was suspended due to a lightning threat at Finca Cortesin. After an hour's delay the match resumed, with Cabrera-Bello halving his deficit to set up a thrilling finale.

Heading to the 18th needing to win the hole to keep his bid alive, Cabrera-Bello paid the price for going for broke, the Spaniard bogeying the last while McDowell took a par to win by two.

"I just need my putting boots on," McDowell said. "I've simply not putted well enough. I didn't want to see the 18th again, but I did."

In the other semi-final, Nicolas Colsaerts showed remarkable powers of recovery to come from four down to stun Paul Lawrie at the second extra hole.

Lawrie, playing in his 500th European Tour event, looked on course to continue his excellent week when racing into an early four-hole lead. His Belgian opponent refused to lie down, however, and slowly but surely he ate his way into Lawrie's lead.

Colsaerts, who also reached the last four a year ago, birdied the 14th to wipe out the former Open champion's advantage and, although Lawrie briefly pulled ahead again, the Belgian fought back to all-square at the last to extend the contest.

Sudden death ensued and, after Lawrie squandered a difficult chance from 18 feet on the first, Colsaerts got up and down from just off the final green to advance at the second extra hole.

"It was a very intense game," Colsaerts said. "I gave away a lot of holes too easily to Paul early on.

"Four down after four holes, and he made one mistake, he opened the door a little bit and I started to play good at that time. I lost 16 after getting back to all square, and you start to go 'I'm running out of holes'. 18 obviously plays a little bit in my favour, I can get to the green in two.

"I didn't really feel that much pressure because I was four down all day and I was starting to play good towards the end, and I could see that Paul was not very happy - he wanted the match to finish a little earlier. I was probably feeling a lot better than he did, and I thought I was going to capitalise on that. I played well here and I probably deserved a place in the final last year, got one now, so I'm very excited."

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