Former college stars Thomas Detry, Alejandro Canizares and Paul Dunne are through to the last 16 of the $1.2 million Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play championship. However, the tournament host’s only action over the weekend will be to present the trophy to the winner.
Lawrie could be handing it back to defending champion Anthony Wall.
Detry overcame Spain’s Nacho Elvira, 3 and 1, after making four birdies in his 17 holes. The former University of Illinois player now faces veteran German Marcel Siem in the third round.
Siem will have the home crowd on his side as he takes on the talented Belgian. They helped Siem see off strong Finnish player Mikko Ilonen by two holes, and Siem responded by showing his appreciation.
“I said to myself at the beginning of the week, ‘I won four tournaments and a World Cup with my emotions,’ ” Siem said. “I know some weeks they got in the way for me but I think to get back on track I need my emotions – that’s me.
“I think I have another ten years in front of me and I want to keep my emotions out there. I tried to be a lot calmer, that doesn’t work for me and it was really enjoyable today. A few fist pumps, I hope the people liked that, it’s just automatic for me it’s not being a show-off – that’s me.”
Dunne and Canizares face each other in the third round, in what will be a UAB versus the University of Arizona contest. Dunne overcame Sweden’s Jens Fahrbring, 4 and 3, while 2003 NCAA champion Canizares beat tournament host Lawrie, 2 and 1.
Wall defeated strong South African Haydn Porteous to keep alive his hopes of defending the title he won at Archerfield Links last year, his second European Tour win.
It was a mixed day for 2014 Ryder Cup heroes Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson. Welshman Donaldson, who earned the winning point for Europe at Gleneagles, is through to the next round after an easy 4-and-3 victory over Spain’s Jorge Campillo. Dubuisson’s poor year continued when he only made one birdie in 14 holes in a 5-and-4 loss to Alexander Knappe. The enigmatic Frenchman also conceded three holes to the German.
“It was good, I played very solid,” Knappe said. “It was a good game. Always just stick to your game and play as good as you can and hopefully you win.”
Like Siem, he responded to the home crowd cheering him on at the Beckenbauer Course at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach
“It’s great to have some people walking with me. It’s the last event this season here and it’s great that we have three events in Germany.”