Marana, Ariz. • Not even Graeme McDowell can believe he’s still alive in the Match Play Championship.
Right when it looked as though he used up all his magic, McDowell pulled off another improbable escape Friday to advance to the quarterfinals at Dove Mountain. This time, all he had to do was win the last two holes against Hunter Mahan to force overtime, make a 20-foot par putt to extend the match, and then win it with a birdie on the 21st hole.
"Nine lives have been used up, and then some," said McDowell, who rallied to beat Gary Woodland on Wednesday and Hideki Matsuyama on Thursday.
He again provided plenty of drama on a warm afternoon filled with it.
Sergio Garcia bizarrely conceded an 18-foot par putt to Rickie Fowler on the seventh hole because he felt bad about taking so long on a drop away from bees on the previous hole. Fowler wound up getting back in the match with three straight birdies, and winning with a birdie on the 18th.
Jim Furyk, who played college golf at Arizona, rallied from 3 down on the front nine to beat Harris English.
Ernie Els hit a magnificent shot into the 18th hole for a birdie to knock off his second major champion in two days — Justin Rose on Thursday, Jason Dufner on Friday. Next up is Jordan Spieth, the 20-year-old Texan who took out defending champion Matt Kuchar.
The others advancing to the quarterfinals were Jason Day (3 and 1 over George Coetzee); Louis Oosthuizen, who beat Webb Simpson; and Victor Dubuisson of France, who defeated Bubba Watson.
In Chonburi, Thailand, Anna Nordqvist made two late bogeys at the rainy LPGA Thailand, leaving her a stroke ahead after the second round. The Swede shot an even-par 72 to remain 6 under. Germany’s Sandra Gal, Paraguay’s Julieta Granada and Spain’s Azahara Munoz were tied for second.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.