Skip to main content

Westwood and McIlroy stay on course to claim world No. 1 spot

updated 10:55 AM EST, Sat February 25, 2012
Lee Westwood continued his impressive form in Arizona with a 3&2 win over Nick Watney.
Lee Westwood continued his impressive form in Arizona with a 3&2 win over Nick Watney.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood into last eight of WGC World Match Play event
  • Victory for either will see them take over as World No.1 Sunday
  • Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan to meet in all-American quarterfinal
  • Martin Laird wins all-Scottish clash with Paul Lawrie

(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood scored convincing third round victories at the WGC World Match Play Championship in Arizona Friday to maintain their hopes of claiming the No. 1 ranking spot this weekend.

Ranked second and third respectively, victory for either man in the first World Golf Championship tournament of the season will see them leapfrog England's Luke Donald at the top.

U.S. Open champion McIlroy beat Ryder Cup colleague Miguel Angel Jimenez 3&1 at Dove Mountain, while Westwood marched into the quarterfinals with a 3&2 victory over Tiger Wood's conqueror Nick Watney.

Watney found the Englishman in fine form as Westwood gained revenge for successive defeats to the American at the last two stagings of the event near Tucson.

It was the first time Westwood has made the weekend play at the tournament, although he has a fine match play record for Europe in the Ryder Cup.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match against Nick. He's knocked me out the last two years," Westwood told Sky Sports.

"It was nice to not make that hat trick and to win and get through to tomorrow.

Westwood is on course for a semifinal showdown with McIlroy, but first he must get past Martin Laird, who beat fellow Scotsman Paul Lawrie 3&1.

Northern Ireland's McIlroy meets South Korean Bae Sang-Moon, who continued his surprise passage with a 1 up win over Australian John Senden in the day's final match.

Three Americans have taken their place in the quarterfinals with Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan set to battle for a place in the last four.

Kuchar thrashed Germany's defending champion Martin Kaymer 4&3 while Mahan dispatched veteran compatriot Steve Stricker by the same margin.

Mark Wilson was the third home player to make the last eight as he saw off big-hitting Dustin Johnson 4&3.

Wilson will next play Sweden's Peter Hanson, who comfortably won 5&3 against another American, Brandy Snedeker.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:47 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
updated 8:18 AM EST, Thu December 11, 2014
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
updated 6:29 AM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
updated 5:24 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
updated 10:49 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
updated 12:48 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
updated 12:09 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
updated 8:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
updated 9:01 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT