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Volvo World Match Play rolls into Day 2

Day Two – European Tour – Volvo World Match Play Championship – London Golf Club — Kent, England —

Group play continues in Day Two of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Graeme McDowell, one of the headliners of the 16-player field, entered the week coming off a 2&1 victory at this event last year over Thonchai Jaidee and a second-place finish in 2012. He also helped lead Europe to a victory with a 3-0 record in Ryder Cup action last month.

G-Mac opened with a 3&2 victory against Alexander Levy in Day One of Group play. Levy won the European Tour’s Portugal Masters last week. But, McDowell — the betting favorite to win the Larson Group — is trailing Mikko Ilonen in his second match 2-down on the front nine.

At No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Henrik Stenson is the top ranked player competing. Like the others who played in the Ryder Cup, he should be rested. He was 3-1 in the Ryder Cup matches losing only to Patrick Reed in Sunday Singles. Stenson halved his opening match and trails 2-Down through seven holes to Francesco Molinari in Day Two action in Kent, England.

The format breaks players into four groups of three competitors in a round robin action. The Top two players in each group advance to the Knock-Out Stage. The remaining four players face off in the semi-finals Sunday morning and then the 18-hole finals Sunday afternoon.

France’s Victor Dubuisson is off to a hot start. The WGC-Match Play runner-up last February to Jason Day, Dubuisson was 2-0-1 in the Ryder Cup and won his first match in England this week. He is also 4UP through 12 against Shane Lowry in Day Two.

Stenson and G-Mac are co-favorites to win it, according to Skybet.com at 5 1/2-to-1 odds. Patrick Reed is the only American in the field that also features Ryder Cup teammates Jamie Donaldson and Stephen Gallacher. 

Other Golf News:

  • U.S. Open and Players champion Martin Kaymer outlasted Masters champ Bubba Watson in a playoff to win the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda. The two-day stroke play event also featured World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk.
  • Haeji Lee shot 5-under-67 to open with a two-shot advantage at the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship in Korea. Lee leads five players by a shot including Catriona Matthew and amateur Minjee Lee. Suzann Pettersen and Beatrice Recari are just three back.
  • The PGA Tour tees off in Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with Billy Horschel — the 2014 FedEx Champion — making his season debut.
  • Nicolas Colsaerts, who contended last week on the European Tour, and Hall of Famer Ernie Els are two back of the lead at the Hong Kong Open after 18 holes.