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The tournament host has enjoyed his role in the build-up to this event, but also has a determination to do well. The Scot safely navigated his way into the last-16 with a 4&3 victory over another former Ryder Cup player in Jarmo Sandelin:

“I played nice, made a few birdies and holed out very well. It’s a little breezy, so you’ve got to do a whole lot well in these conditions to keep it going.

“The course is in fabulous condition, the greens are rolling absolutely pure and if you hit it on line, it’s going to go in! I tend to play a little better when the greens are a quicker, because my strokes quite long.”

Roger Chapman is also through after a tight 1-up victory over José Coceres, while Greig Hutcheon, Marc Farry, Garry Orr, Peter Fowler, Jyoti Randhawa and Michael Long also came through their matches to make it into the weekend rounds.

James Kingston has impressed on the Hertfordshire course so far this week, an opening day 5&4 win over Steen Tinning was followed up with a 6&5 victory against Robert Coles on Friday.

It sees the South African fast becoming one of the main men to beat in this event, although he’s playing down his successes so far:

“I’ve got to try and play as well as I possibly can do against the golf course. Just get off to a good start if you can, get your tail in the air and see what happens after that.”

Leader of the MCB Road to Mauritius standings and runner-up last week in Greece, Scott Hend, is another player who continues his strong run of form. The Australian beat Adilson da Silva 2&1 to claim his place in the last-16:

“I knew it was going to be a very tough match, he doesn’t miss many fairways, he doesn’t miss many greens and when he does he pitches it up close – then he’s such a good putter. So, the quality of golf had to be pretty good.

“It’s difficult when you’re so used to playing stroke play that when you do make a mistake, you get penalized for it. But out here, it’s just it’s one hole. Essentially, it’s gathering some good momentum to take into the weekend, with potentially four rounds ahead of you.”

Stephen Dodd and Mikael Lundberg were tied after 18 holes and it would take two extra ones before the Welshman came out on top in their match, while Joakim Haeggman went the distance with Santiago Luna to claim his 1-up victory.

Two-time Major winner Angel Cabrera is through after a 4&2 win over Andrew Marshall and will now face Gary Evans following his 2&1 success against Phillip Price.

Elsewhere, Keith Horne saw off Jeev Milkha Singh 4&3 and Bradley Dredge, who won a Legends Tour title on this golf course last year, beat Euan McIntosh 6&4 to continue his progress in this tournament.

“I played nicely again today and was almost as good off the tee today, but my approach play was pretty good. It was about momentum. You’re after the momentum, winning yesterday and now getting something going. Then it’s just about keeping your foot on the pedal just trying to keep make birdies and keep on top of the play.

“I do enjoy the golf course, obviously I’m going to say that because I’ve played well here last year – it seems to suit my game a little bit I think.

“I always try and play the course, but there’s always exceptions because if your opponent hits one in really close, then you’ve got to play more aggressive.”

Now it is into a busy part of the tournament with two sessions of golf per day for the winners.

Saturday morning sees the round of 16 getting underway with the standout match Paul Lawrie against Bradley Dredge, the host looking forward to that battle: “Bradley won here last year I think when he romped away from the field, obviously he likes the course and the last couple of days he’s been very impressive. So, I’ve got my hands full tomorrow!

Round of 16 matches:

0800 Stephen Dodd (Wal) v Joakim Haeggman (Swe)
0812 Roger Chapman (Eng) v Greig Hutcheon (Sco)
0824 Angel Cabrera (Arg) v Gary Evans (Eng)
0836 Marc Farry (Fra) v Michael Long (Nzl)
0848 Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) v Keith Horne (Rsa)
0900 James Kingston (Rsa) v Gary Orr (Sco)
0912 Paul Lawrie (Sco) v Bradley Dredge (Wal)
0924 Scott Hend (Aus) v Peter Fowler (Aus)

The winners of the round of 16 matches on Saturday morning will then face each other in the quarter-finals in the afternoon.
Tickets are available for the weekend action CLICK HERE PAUL LAWRIE MATCH PLAY TICKETS


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