Tuesday 21 January 2020

Paul Lawrie bows out of his own tournament while Paul Dunne advances to last 16

Paul Dunne of Ireland during a practice round ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship at Portstewart Golf Club in Portstewart, Co. Derry. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Paul Dunne of Ireland during a practice round ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship at Portstewart Golf Club in Portstewart, Co. Derry. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Phil Casey

Tournament host Paul Lawrie bowed out of the Saltire Energy Match Play after a nightmare finish to his second round clash with Spain's Alejandro Canizares.

Lawrie looked on course to produce a superb comeback as he recovered from three down after eight to win four of the next five holes, three of them with birdies, to lead for the first time in the match.

However, after Canizares regained the lead on the 14th and the 15th was halved in birdies, Lawrie hit a wild drive on the 16th to lose his ball and the hole before finding the water with his tee shot on the next.

The former Open champion took off his shoes and socks to attempt a recovery shot from the edge of the hazard, but thinned his second across the green and fluffed his third before eventually conceding.

Canizares will take on Ireland's Paul Dunne in the third round after Dunne enjoyed a 4&3 win over Sweden's Jens Fahbring, with Ashun Wu or Chris Paisley next in line in the quarter-finals after victories over Rikard Karlberg and Nathan Kimsey respectively.

"I struggled a little off the tee today but hit some good iron shots and the key was when I get out of position, he didn't take advantage," Dunne said.

"On 11 I made a long one when he was in close and he ended up missing, so from maybe going back to one up I was three up so that was a big swing."

Defending champion Anthony Wall produced a big finish for the second day running to record his eighth straight victory in the event by beating South Africa's Haydn Porteous on the 18th.

Wall won six matches to claim his second European Tour title at Archerfield Links 12 months ago, 16 years and 204 days after his first in South Africa.

And despite a change of venue to Bad Griesbach Golf Resort, he carried on where he left off by following a hard-fought victory over Sam Walker with a similar tussle with Porteous.

Porteous was one up with two to play before Wall birdied the 17th and parred the last to set up a third-round clash with Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson.

"I feel sorry for Haydn because he's been struggling a lot of the year and I think he played really well today and that's match play," Wall said. "It's one or two holes or one or two shots and luckily it was my turn.

"Jamie Donaldson is a top player, clearly he's played match play at the highest level. He's a good friend just coming back to form and it will be a great game."

Donaldson, who secured the winning point at Gleneagles in 2014, lost the first two holes against Spaniard Jorge Campillo, but won five of the next eight holes on his way to a 4&3 win.

There were also wins for Tom Lewis, Alexander Knappe, Ashley Chesters and Adrian Otaegui in the bottom half of the draw, with Johan Carlsson, Marcus Fraser, Marcel Siem, Thomas Detry, Robert Rock and Florian Fritsch advancing in the top half.

Fraser was three down after 10 holes to Max Kieffer but won six of the next seven, finishing the match in style by almost holing his tee shot on the 17th.

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