Jeev Milkha Singh outlasted American Matt Kuchar’s late comeback to register a narrow win that carried him into the last 16 of the WGC- Accenture World matchplay golf on Friday. The 37-year-old Indian who was three-up with five holes to go held out as Kuchar won the 14th and 15th holes. With the last three holes halved Jeev won the match one-up and moved into last 16, where he meets Ian Poulter of England.
Playing in the Bobby Jones bracket, Jeev is now set for third round showdown with Englishman and eight-time European Tour winner Ian Poulter, who edged out Adam Scott 2 and 1.
Jeev’s two blemishes were bogeys on the first and the fifth, the former he lost as Kuchar parred and on the latter both bogeyed.
Jeev bogeyed the first and Kuchar won the opening hole with a par. But the Indian was soon in his elements and he two-putted from 67 feet to birdie the par-five eighth hole, which put him one-up. He parred the next, while Kuchar bogeyed to put the Indian 2-up.
Jeev went three-up after the 13th hole birdie but Kuchar fought back with back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes to inject some fresh drama as Jeev managed only pars on both.
“I worked hard and grinded it out and I think that’s what match play is all about. You cannot lose patience and you have to hole those short putts which is what I did,” said Jeev.
“ I think it was a fantastic match. It started off not too good on the first, but came back pretty good. Matt came back strong and birdied 14, 15, and I made some good up-and-downs on 16 and 17 and the last was an exciting one,” said the affable Indian.
England’s Luke Donald had the biggest win, but the best was probably the one achieved by Wilson, who defeated fourth seed Rory McIlroy at the second extra hole. Paul Casey, Oliver Wilson and Poulter all reached the last 16.