ASH, England — Top-seeded Henrik Stenson defeated Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1 to reach the quarterfinals undefeated after the opening three rounds of the World Match Play Championship.
Stenson sealed the win when his wedge shot into the 17th green spun back into the hole for birdie on the London Club course. He finished with an eagle and six birdies on the final day of round-robin play and will play fellow Swede Jonas Blixt in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Thongchai, last year’s runner-up, was eliminated.
American Ryder Cup player Patrick Reed, a former University High golfer, also advanced after beating Jamie Donaldson 3 and 2, and will play George Coetzee of South Africa.
In the other quarterfinals, Victor Dubuisson of France faces Mikko Ilonen of Finland and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands takes on Pablo Larrazabal of Spain.
Luiten, overlooked for European Ryder Cup selection in favor of Lee Westwood, had been 3 down to McDowell after eight holes before going ahead for a first time with a birdie at 17 and then also managing to birdie the last.
Reed, who was undefeated in the recent Ryder Cup, was 2 up after just four holes and then moved to 4 up with a birdie at 12.
“It feels good to win as today I made a lot of clutch and solid putts,” he said. “This is one of those events I’ve always wanted to play. I watched it last year on TV back home. Justine, my wife, goes, ‘I think we need to play there next year or whenever we get a chance.’ And luckily we got an invite this year and I couldn’t pass it up.”
Putnam, Knox SHARE LEAD AT 10-UNDER PAR: In Las Vegas, Andrew Putnam birdied two of the last three holes Friday for a 6-under 65 and a share of the second-round lead with Russell Knox in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Putnam is playing his fourth PGA Tour event. He earned his tour card this year through the Web.com Tour.
Knox, from Scotland, had a 67 to match Putnam at 10-under 132 at TPC Summerlin. Knox had six birdies and two bogeys — on Nos. 2 and 3 — in the second round.
Andrew Svoboda and Tony Finau were a stroke back. Finau shot 65, and Svoboda had a 67.
Haas, Durant top leaderboard: In Conover, North Carolina, Jay Haas and Joe Durant shot 8-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
Roger Chapman and Scott Dunlap shot 65. Kirk Triplett, a two-time winner this season, was another stroke back along with Bill Glasson, Mike Goodes, John Riegger and Rocco Mediate.
Icher takes SECOnd round lead: In Incheon, South Korea, Karine Icher of France shot a 4-under 68 in the second round to take a one-stroke lead at the top of the European-dominated leaderboard at the KEB-HanaBank Championship on Friday.
Icher birdied three of her final four holes for a 5-under 139 total on the Ocean Course at the Sky72 Golf Club.
Brittany Lincicome of the United States, who birdied her final two holes for a 70.
, and Beatriz Ricari of Spain (70), were tied for second.
Azahara Munoz of Spain (69) was among those tied for fourth, two strokes behind, as was Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Sandra Gal of Germany, who shot 71s.
No. 3 Lydia Ko of New Zealand shot 69 after an opening 73 and was three strokes behind and tied for 10th along with Haeji Kang of South Korea, who led by two strokes after an opening 67 but shot 75 Friday.
Second-ranked Inbee Park, who could move to No. 1 with a win in the absence of top-ranked Stacy Lewis of the United States, carded 73 and was five strokes behind Icher. Ko could also move to No. 1 with a win.
U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie improved from her opening 76 with a 70, and was seven strokes off the lead.
Els leads by 2 in Hong Kong on birthday: In Hong Kong, Ernie Els grabbed control of the Hong Kong Open with a two-stroke lead at the halfway mark by carding a 5-under-par 65 on his birthday Friday.
Els, who turned 45, was at 9-under 131 to lead Raphael Jacquelin of France and Australians Scott Hend and Cameron Smith by two shots on the Fanling Course at Hong Kong Golf Club.
One shot further behind was a group of 11 players, including first-round leader Jyoti Randhawa of India.
“The course is there for the taking. I’m looking forward to the weekend,” said Els, in the midst of his first Hong Kong Open.