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A bright morning with sunshine and showers, but little in the way of wind, greeted the players for their round of 16 matches, although the weather would force a temporary suspension of play around lunchtime.

Stephen Dodd and Joakim Haeggman were the first pair out onto the golf course, where Dodd got himself 2-up after back-to-back wins on holes 4 and 5. But the Swedish former Ryder Cup player fought back to five out of the next 11 holes to win 3&2.

Two-time Senior Major winner Roger Chapman went into an early lead against Greig Hutcheon, but having lost the third hole the Scot went on a solid run to take the match 2&1: “Roger Chapman is a class golfer, so I’m really pleased to get through.

“As the matches get closer to the clubhouse, you can feel the tension a little bit and you must try and keep your wits about you. I like the match play format.

“The last time I played it was in the PGA Cup match against America, which is obviously a great experience. I was thinking about that this week, when was the last time I played match play? And it was the PGA Cup match. I was drawing on memories from that although most of the Americans got me a few times, my record wasn’t perfect.”

One of the stand-out matches from the Saturday morning session saw two-time Major champion Angel Cabrera taking on Gary Evans. Cabrera chipped in at the opening hole for a 2, winning the opening two holes before the Englishman started to battle back.

Their match was tied after Evans won the 11th hole, but Cabrera was holing out well and would claim three of the next five holes for a 3&2 victory.

“I’m very happy to play a great game today. I like match play, it’s a different game, but I like it, I enjoy it. I played for 13 years in Europe, and I’ve got many friends here too.
I’m very happy to be here.”

Michael Long saw off the challenge of Frenchman Marc Farry 2&1, while Jyoti Randhawa had a tight contest with Keith Horne – Randhawa coming out on top 3&1.

It was also a see-saw contest between James Kingston and Gary Orr, and after two big wins in his opening two matches it was a much closer 1-up victory this time for James Kingston.

Perhaps, the standout match from the round of 16 ties was our host, Paul Lawrie, facing Bradley Dredge – who won a Legends Tour title on this golf course last year.

They won three holes each on the front nine to make the turn tied – and they were still level through 15 holes, before wins on 16 and 17 for the Welshman ensured that he would be the one to progress.

Dredge won the Legends Tour Trophy hosted by Simon Khan here last year and now has hopes of maintaining his winning record around Hanbury Manor!

“Paul was playing well today, it was an in-and-out game, battling through the weather a little bit. I felt as though Paul was playing really well and he’s the sort of guy that, when he gets momentum, he just keeps going. But, I also felt perhaps he didn’t quite hole the putts when he needed to.”

The final match out in the morning was an all-Australian affair. Peter Fowler, who celebrated his 65th birthday in Greece last week, took on the man who leads the MCB Road to Mauritius – Scott Hend.

Big hitter Hend had a big advantage off the tee’s and he was 3-up through the opening six holes.

Fowler would fight back a little after the turn but it wasn’t enough as Hend claimed a 3&2 victory to grab his place in the afternoon quarter-finals.

“We had good chats, reminiscing about old days in Australia and the Australian tour!

“It’s always nice to get up in a match so you don’t feel like you’re going to battle too hard. Try and make the other player win the whole thing, give it to them. And that’s pretty much how I played it.”

The quarter-final matches:

Joakim Haeggman (SWE) v Greig Hutcheon (SCO)

Angel Cabrera (ARG) v Michael Long (NZL)

Jyoti Randhawa (IND) v James Kingston (RSA)

Bradley Dredge (WAL) v Scott Hend (AUS)


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