Westwood poised to finally end jinx

February 23, 2012
Golf - PGA - Bet Now at Bet365

Lee Westwood looks well placed to finally break his WGC Accenture Match Play Championship jinx and challenge for top honours this weekend after moving smoothly through to the second round.

Despite his high ranking, the world number three has never progressed beyond the last 32 stage in 11 appearances at the event.

But Westwood started his bid for glory at Dove Mountain this week with a faultless display as he easily overcame Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts.

The Englishman's round included six birdies and no bogeys as he closed out a 4 & 2 victory and he will now face European Ryder Cup colleague Robert Karlsson in the next round. He is 10/3 to finish as the top European, while Karlsson is at 16/1 and Martin Kaymer is at 3/1.

Westwood told Sky Sports: "I didn't make a bogey and it was a good match. You can't cruise your way into the tournament, as I do in a lot of them."

Westwood and Robert Rock are the only two Englishmen left in the draw after an opening day which saw defending champion Luke Donald, Simon Dyson, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter all lose.

US Open champion Rory McIlroy also struggled, needing South African George Coetzee to miss a short par putt on the last to progress after he had threatened to throw away a three-hole lead, but the biggest shock came with Donald's defeat to Els.

The world number one had never lost in the first round in eight previous outings at the tournament but appeared out of sorts all day as he succumbed to a 5 & 4 defeat to the three-time Major winner.

Donald admitted afterwards: "Not sure where to start - I just didn't play well. It's disappointing. I've worked hard and to lose control of the ball is frustrating.

"I felt pretty good about where I was and I'm not sure what happened. Hopefully just one of those bad days."

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