Indian pro Jeev Milkha Singh continued his dream run in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship,ousting two-time PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar to breeze into the third round of the USD 8.5 million elite golf tournament in Tucson.
Jeev,who had upstaged three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington in his opening round,tamed Kuchar one-up in the Bobby Jones bracket to set up a third round showdown with Englishman and eight-time European Tour winner Ian Poulter,who edged out Adam Scott 2 and 1.
The Indian played immaculate golf with the fifth hole bogey being the lone blot in his otherwise impeccable card.
Jeev did not have a great start as 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 and the gap increased with Kuchar
dropping a shot on the next.
Jeev went three-up after the 13th hole birdie but his American opponent responded with back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes to inject some fresh drama.
Jeev’s short game,however,stood him in good stead and Kuchar could not bridge that gap.
“I ground 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,” an elated Jeev later said.
“It was real hard work. 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.
The face-off with Poulter would be an opportunity for Jeev to avenge his last year’s defeat at the Englishman’s hand.