Poulter, McDowell advance in Spain

Defending champion Ian Poulter and former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell qualified for the last 16 of the World Match Play Championship before they even hit a ball on Friday.

Tom Lewis’ 1-up victory over John Senden of Australia meant both he and fellow Englishman Poulter, who beat Senden 3 and 2 on Thursday, were the top two finishers in Group G. Poulter plays Lewis, who led the British Open as an amateur last year, later Friday to see who clinches the top spot.

Having grabbed a narrow victory over Robert Karlsson on Thursday, McDowell saw the Swede earn only a half with Jbe Kruger, guaranteeing a spot in the next round.

Former major winners Paul Lawrie and Retief Goosen also advanced, along with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello.