Joost magic! Luiten makes it 27 birdies in a week

Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:27pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

ASH England (Reuters) - Joost Luiten took his tally this week to a remarkable 27 birdies and one eagle as the Dutch dynamo thrashed Spain's Pablo Larrazabal 6 & 5 on Saturday to charge into the Volvo World Match Play Championship semi-finals.

Luiten has recorded the two biggest victories of the 50th anniversary edition of the tournament -- he also brushed past Frenchman Alexander Levy 4 & 3 on Thursday -- and it seems as though match play golf suits him down to a tee.

"I like this format because you can be aggressive and I'm usually an aggressive player," he told Reuters in an interview after crushing Larrazabal with an inspired run of eight birdies in 13 holes on a grey, wet day at the London Club in Kent.

"This is a great match play course too because if you play well you can make a lot of birdies. I am playing some consistent golf and my putter is working well."

Luiten is the only competitor in the field with a 100 percent record from his four matches but he played down his staggering birdie haul.

"I don't think you can compare this format with the regular strokeplay events we play," said the winner of last month's Wales Open.

"In match play you are sometimes given birdie putts when they are not 100 percent gimmes."

Luiten will meet Finn Mikko Ilonen in one 18-hole semi-final on Sunday morning while top seed Henrik Stenson takes on South African George Coetzee in the other.   Continued...

Joost Luiten of the Netherlands hits a driver off the second tee during the third round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, August 9, 2014. REUTERS/John Sommers II