Date: May 17, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Colsaerts, Poulter fall to defeat

Nicolas Colsaerts&apos defence of his World Match Play Championship started badly as he lost to Branden Grace on the opening day on Thursday. Colsaerts could do little as Grace raced into a five-hole lead on the front nine in his opening match of the tournament at Thracian Cliffs Golf and Beach Resort in Bulgaria. The 2012 champion battled back, winning the 10th and 12th holes to trim the deficit to three, but the Belgian&aposs chances of victory were quashed when he bogeyed the 14th, allowing Grace to close out the win by a 4 and 3 margin on the 15th. World number eight Graeme McDowell was another victor on the first day&aposs play, the Northern Irishman easing to a 5 and 3 win over Englishman Chris Wood, while McDowell&aposs Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari of Italy earned a 2 and 1 win over Sweden&aposs Henrik Stenson. However, there was a shock as world number 15 Ian Poulter of England fell to a 3 and 2 defeat to Thailand&aposs Thongchai Jaidee. Elsewhere, Sweden&aposs Carl Pettersson, who rejoined the European Tour in a quest to a win place on the Ryder Cup team for 2014, demonstrated his prowess as he hit four birdies to seal a 4 and 3 triumph over Dane Thorbjorn Olesen. The most gripping contest of the day came between Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Wales&apos Jamie Donaldson. Fernandez-Castano took the win on the final hole after Donaldson, four holes down with seven to play, produced a remarkable fightback to reduce the deficit to one, only to see the 32-year-old match his birdie on the 18th and end his hopes of halving the match. Elsewhere American Bo Van Pelt and South African Richard Sterne were left to settle for a half each in their match-up, while there was more Swedish success with Peter Hanson overcoming South African George Coetzee 2 and 1.