The Volvo World Matchplay Championship May 18 2012

Ian Poulter  (Getty Images)

Ian Poulter (Getty Images)

Ian Poulter started his defense of The Volvo World Match Play Championship with a 3 and 2 victory over Australian John Senden in the first round. Ian now faces Portugal Masters champion Tom Lewis in his second and final group game tomorrow. Ian was in reflective mood when interviewed afterwards;

“I said John was going to be a very steady opponent, and he was on front nine. I think he made nine straight pars. I took advantage of the par five third hole, and I think if anything, on the next hole with driving it in the water, I think he played a little bit too safe. It's a driveable par four and he should have tried to knock it on.” Poulter admitted that the half gained on the fourth was a turning point in the contest.

“I think there's a way to play, which it puts you under pressure, but sometimes you have to stand up and hit a shot that you probably wouldn't think about hitting. Prime example, I hit it in the water on four. If it was me, I would have had a go at the green. It's a good target and a good yardage for him, I would have thought, but he didn't, he decided to take an easy option, take any mistake out of play. But I'm going to be 120 yards away from the hole, and I'm going to have a good chance to make four. He should have tried to make an easy three and win that hole, so that's the fun of match play. It doesn't matter if you are not hitting good shots. If you believe you can hit the next shot good, and hole the next putt, then it doesn't make any difference. That's what Seve had.”

Garcia victorious in all-Spanish encounter

Sergio Garcia (Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia started his campaign with a 2 and 1 victory over compatriot Alvaro Quiros. Sergio enjoyed his battle with Alvaro;

“I guess you could say it was a good battle, because it was a battle, that's about it pretty much. I think the one that has the most credit today is the people that were following us for not walking off after nine probably, because I can't really imagine that was a lot of fun to watch. We weren't playing very good. I had a stretch there on ten, 11, 12, where he did hit some good shots. I made a big putt on 11 to stay one down, and then he had a great chance on 12 from about probably five feet, no more than that, to go two up. If he would have made that, the way I was feeling, I would have struggled. You could see that he felt that, because after that hole, he struggled the next couple. He hit a couple bad drives and I managed to win both of them and got one up. I was fortunate enough to hit three really good iron shots coming in on 15, 16 and 17. So that was about it.”

These are all the results of the day.

PLAYER ENG  Ian POULTER
3&2
John SENDEN AUS
McCORMACK USA Brandt SNEDEKER 5&4 Thomas BJÖRN DEN
NORMAN SWE Peter HANSON 2&1 Paul LAWRIE SCO
WOOSNAM ESP Sergio GARCIA 2&1 Alvaro QUIROS ESP
LARSON NIR Graeme MCDOWELL 1 Hole Robert KARLSSON SWE
PALMER RSA Charl SCHWARTZEL Match Halved Nicolas COLSAERTS BEL
GABRIELSSON ENG Justin ROSE 7&6 Robert ROCK ENG
BALLESTEROS GER Martin KAYMER 3&2 Rafael CABRERA-BELLO ESP