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Golf: Colsaerts win boosts chances in Bulgaria


Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts boosted his chances of successfully defending his title with victory on day two of the Volvo World Match-Play Championship in Bulgaria on Friday.

The 30-year-old easily accounted for Thailand's Kiradeck Aphibarnrat, winning 3 and 2 on the Thracian Cliffs course along the Black Sea shoreline.

Colsaerts was a shock first round-robin loser to South African Branden Grace but was always in command in his match with Aphibarnrat, winner earlier this year of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

"It (the course) played a little better today but there are still a few loose shots in my game but I needed to win so I guess it's mission accomplished," he said.

"But hey, I'm in a better spot this year than compared to this time last year when I managed to go through to the last 16 with just a draw from my first two matches."

Colsaerts will now have to wait for the outcome of Friday afternoon's match between Grace and Aphibarnrat to see if he goes through to the last 16.

A Grace victory would see both he and Colsaerts progress whereas if Aphibarnrat wins it will a three-play sudden death play-off.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee is through to the last 16 in defeating South African Thomas Aiken by one hole.

It is Jaidee's second, straight victory after defeating England's Ian Poulter a day earlier.

"I am very happy with two wins and right now I am performing a lot better as the tournament goes on as match-play is not easy," said Jaidee.

"My match with Richard was very even but I went 1up on 17 before we both pared the 18th for me to win.

"It was a very solid round of golf with five birdies after having seven yesterday, so I am going to hit a few practice balls this afternoon and then get ready for tomorrow's match."

Australia's Brett Rumford has continued his winning ways with the recent back-to-back winner in South Korea and China easily accounting for Jamie Donaldson defeating the Welshman 5 and 3.

"Jamie got off to a bit of a bad start and I just capitalised on that with three birdies in my first four holes to be 3 up and that really was the key," said Rumford.

If Rumford were to win this week he would become the first player since Seve Ballesteros in 1986 to win three European Tour events in succession.

It was Donaldson's second defeat in the tournament and eliminates the reigning Irish Open and Abu Dhabi HSBC Champion from the three-million-euro (2.5-million-pound, $3.7 million) event.

Rumford plays Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in Friday's third and final round-robin match and both now assured of qualifying for the last 16 no matter the result as Fernandez-Castano had beaten Donaldson a day earlier.

Others assured of advancing to advance to the last 16 include Italy's Francesco Molinari who defeated Chilean Felipe Aguilar 4 and 3 and a day after beating Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

South African Richard Sterne booked his place also in the last 16 defeating former US Open champion, Geoff Ogilvy 5 and 4.

Ogilvy now must defeat American Bo Van Pelt this afternoon if he is to join Sterne after Van Pelt had drawn this match on Thursday and on the occasion of his 39th birthday with Molinari.

Completed second round matches - Volvo World Match-Play Championship, Thracian Cliffs Golf and Beach Resort course, Kavarna, Bulgaria.

Brett Rumford (Australia) defeated Jamie Donaldson (Wales) 5 and 3

Scott Jamieson (Scotland) defeated Carl Pettersson (Sweden) 1 hole

Francesco Molinai (Italy) defeated Felipe Aguilar (Chile) 4 and 3

Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) defeated Kiradeck Aphibarnrat (Thailand) 3 and 2

Richard Sterne (South Africa) defeated Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 5 and 4

George Coetzee (South Africa) defeated Shane Lowry (Ireland) 3 and 2

Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) defeated Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 1 hole

Chris Wood (England) defeated Stephen Gallacher (Scotland) 2 and 1