Donald suffers heavy defeat

Luke Donald had a difficult day in Arizona (AP)

Luke Donald had a difficult day in Arizona (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

Luke Donald suffered one of the biggest defeats of his career on Friday as the giant-killing continued at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson.

Made favourite for the title after the first round defeats of world top two Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, third seed and 2011 winner Donald was crushed 7&6 by unheralded Scott Piercy.

The American, who has made it to 37th in the world with hardly anybody noticing, sank his approach to the fifth for an eagle two and turned in a marvellous six under par 30.

Ian Poulter, who lifted the trophy three years ago, was almost as impressive as he made it through to the last 16 with a 3&1 victory over another of the home contingent in Bo Van Pelt, but fifth seed Justin Rose was another to bow out.

He was beaten 3&2 by Ryder Cup team-mate Nicolas Colsaerts.

It is American Ryder Cup player Matt Kuchar next for Colsaerts.

Donald, who returned from a long winter break only last week, had beaten German Marcel Siem with two closing birdies, but gave Piercy just the encouragement he perhaps needed by setting off again with a double bogey six.

The English star could never have expected to be six down by the so-called halfway point, though, and yet another birdie by Piercy on the short 12th finished things off.

Poulter, unbeaten hero of Europe's triumph in Chicago last September and with match play crowns to his name on both sides of the Atlantic, has shown no ill-effects of taking six weeks off coming into the tournament.

Having also eliminated Scot Stephen Gallacher, he next faces South African Tim Clark, who has so far defeated Adam Scott and Thorbjorn Olesen without having to play the final hole.

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