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Graeme McDowell defeats Branden Grace 3&2 in Match Play semi-final

Updated: Sunday, 19 May 2013 11:16 | Comments

Graeme McDowell is congratulated by Branden Grace in Bulgaria this morning
Graeme McDowell is congratulated by Branden Grace in Bulgaria this morning

Graeme McDowell today produced a flawless display of golf to book his place in the final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship for the second year running.

McDowell, runner-up last year to Ryder Cup team-mate Nicolas Colsaerts, was eight under par for the 16 holes required to beat South Africa's Branden Grace 3&2 in this morning's semi-finals at Thracian Cliffs.

And the Northern Irishman will be favoured to beat Thongchai Jaidee in this afternoon's final after the former Thai paratrooper saw off another South African, Thomas Aiken, by the same scoreline.

McDowell got off to a blistering start, pitching to two feet for a birdie at the first and holing from 18ft for another on the third.

After conceding Grace's short birdie putt on the fourth, McDowell then holed from 20ft to halve the hole and moved three up with another birdie on the next.

Grace reduced the deficit by winning the sixth and was just one down when he birdied the 11th, but McDowell birdied four of the next five to seal an impressive victory.

Jaidee, who had beaten Aiken in the group stages, was four up after seven and three birdies in the next four holes from the Avantha Masters winner were only enough to claw back one hole.

A bogey on the 12th from Jaidee threatened to open the door to his opponent, but a birdie on the next restored a three-hole cushion that ultimately proved decisive.

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