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October 31, 2009

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Westwood stays in hunt for semifinal

EUROPE'S order of merit leader Lee Westwood gave himself a chance of making the World Matchplay Championship semifinals by overcoming fellow Briton Ross Fisher in Casares, Spain, yesterday.

Westwood's chances are slim though following his crushing six-hole defeat on Thursday to India's Jeev Milkha Singh. The 2000 winner of the event needs an overwhelming win himself in his afternoon clash with Colombian Camilo Villegas.

"First and foremost I've got to win but I do need to win well," Westwood said after his two-hole success against Fisher. "If Ross and Jeev only halve then I'm through.

"I shouldn't be relying on other results, though. I put myself behind the eight-ball by losing so heavily yesterday (Thursday). I can't remember the last time I didn't make one birdie in a round."

Westwood set up his victory with a run of three birdies and an eagle from the second after his opponent had birdied the first, but lessened his victory margin by losing the 18th.

In the group, Westwood, Villegas, who beat Singh by three holes yesterday, Singh and Fisher are all on two points after a win apiece.

The other group due to play two matches yesterday is equally wide-open. With US Masters champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina losing by two holes to Swedish world No. 7 Henrik Stenson and Europe's Race to Dubai contender Rory McIlroy defeating fellow-Briton Simon Dyson by a similar score, all four players have a win and two points each.

Afternoon matches between McIlroy and Stenson, a repeat of their recent Seve Trophy match which McIlroy won, and Cabrera and Dyson, will decide which player goes through to the semifinals.


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