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  • WGC Match Play Championship, Day Three

Poulter reaches semis in ominous form

ESPN staff
February 23, 2013 « Price loses unbeaten record in stunning defeat | Chartbeat test »
Ian Poulter enjoyed two wins on Saturday © Getty Images
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WGC Match Play Championship draw & results

Ian Poulter remains on course for a second WGC Match Play Championship title after breezing into the semi-finals on Saturday.

Poulter, renowned for his matchplay prowess, disposed of Tim Clark and the in-form Steve Stricker at Dove Mountain to book his place in the final four of the competition, where he will play defending champion Hunter Mahan.

Mahan defeated reigning US Open champion Webb Simpson at the last to return to the tournament's final day for another year, retaining his ambition of back-to-back wins in the prestigious competition.

Poulter was perhaps the star of the day, however, closing out Clark on the 15th green in his last 16 contest, before beating Stricker - who had previously gone to the final hole against Luke Donald's vanquisher Scott Piercy - at the cost of just one extra hole.

When asked about his confidence levels in one-on-one golf, Poulter grinned: "I'd say I have a lot of it."

In the other half of the draw, Jason Day will face Matt Kuchar after the Australian ended Graeme McDowell's run.

McDowell defeated Shane Lowry to start the day but, with Lowry watching on from the galleries in the afternoon, could not come up with an answer to Day's play as the former top ten player won at the last.

Kuchar, meanwhile, was the first player to reach the semi-finals, following up a comfortable win over Nicolas Colsaerts with a 3&2 success against Robert Garrigus to give himself a chance to reach a first final in the event.

"It's nice to be still alive and playing tomorrow," Kuchar said. "Robert today gave me a couple holes early. I got off to a nice lead and then I stumbled a little bit there kind of three-quarters into the round and kind of felt like we were back in a battle again.

"I was pretty excited to hit some good shots on 14, 15 and 16 to be able to close him out and be able to hopefully go home soon and get some rest."

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