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World No. 1 ranking up for grabs

Ian Poulter looks over a putt during his 1-up victory over world No. 1 Lee Westwood at the World Match Play Championship.

Associated Press

Ian Poulter looks over a putt during his 1-up victory over world No. 1 Lee Westwood at the World Match Play Championship.

CASARES, Spain — Luke Donald meets Martin Kaymer in today's semifinals of the World Match Play Championship with the winner earning a shot later in the day to become the No. 1 player in the world.

That's because Lee Westwood, the current No. 1, lost to Ian Poulter in the round of 16 on Saturday. Donald and Kaymer both become No. 1 by winning the tournament.

Donald, No. 2, needed a playoff to beat Johan Edfors then beat Masters champ Charl Schwartzel 2-up in the quarterfinals. Kaymer, the former No. 1 now No. 3, won two of the last three holes to beat Alvaro Quiros 2-up then beat Soren Kjeldsen 3 and 2.

Donald beat Kaymer 3 and 2 in the final of the Match Play in Arizona in February.

"I suppose I have the upper hand psychologically," he said.

Donald, who said he felt "drained" while still recovering from a throat infection, has won his past 13 in match play, including one at October's Ryder Cup.

"He doesn't make any mistakes," Kaymer said. "I won with a few pars against Soren, but that won't happen (today)."

Westwood lost to Poulter 1-up despite shooting 67.

"You know (Poulter's) not going to hit it great, but he's going to make a lot of putts and get up and down from everywhere. He had a few breaks as well," Westwood said. "That's the frustrating thing about match play. Sometimes, it's not reflective of how the players are playing."

Poulter was just thrilled to win.

"I'm not going to get in a tennis match with Lee," he said. "I played lovely. I hit three bad shots in that whole round of golf."

After beating Westwood, Poulter won the final four holes — including birdies at Nos. 16, 17 and 18 — to beat Francesco Molinari 2-up. He faces Nicolas Colsaerts, the surprise of the tournament. The Belgian, No. 108 in the world, beat Jhonattan Vegas 2 and 1 and No. 5 Graeme McDowell 2 and 1.

McDowell advanced by beating friend and fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy 3 and 2.

PGA: David Toms blew a seven-stroke lead and was second, one behind Charlie Wi, after three rounds of the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. Toms shot bogey-free 62s in the first two rounds. But he had four Saturday and a double bogey, when he three-putted from 7½ feet, at No. 14 to shoot 4-over 74 and sit at 12-under 198. Wi (66), who has never won a tour event, took the lead with a 32-foot birdie at No. 16.

LPGA: Angela Stanford birdied four of the final five holes to beat Paula Creamer 2-up and set up an all-America semifinal with Cristie Kerr at the Match Play Championship in Gladstone, N.J. The semifinals are this morning with the final in the afternoon. Stanford, who lost to Sun Young Yoo in last year's final, trailed by two after 13 holes before rallying. Kerr still hasn't played more than 16 holes in a match after beating Ai Miyazato 3 and 2. Na Yeon Choi beat Sophie Gustafson 2-up to set up a matchup with Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen made an 8-foot birdie at No. 18 to eliminate Yani Tseng, No. 1 in the world rankings, 1-up.

World No. 1 ranking up for grabs 05/21/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 21, 2011 11:50pm]
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