Paul Casey looked like making Open champion Stewart Cink yet another victim in Tucson, Arizona today.
After three successive 5&4 victories Casey marched into a four-up lead after eight holes of their WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship quarter-final.
It was a clash between the last two runners-up in the event, Casey losing to Geoff Ogilvy last year and Cink to Tiger Woods 12 months earlier.
The other two English players in the last eight were having much tougher battles.
Oliver Wilson, facing his fourth European opponent in a row, fell three down to Spain’s Sergio Garcia, but fought back to be only one down at the turn.
And in the top game Ian Poulter was one down to Thai Thongchai Jaidee with seven holes to go.
Colombian Camilo Villegas was winning the other game, four-up on South African Retief Goosen at the turn.
Cink’s problems started when he went in the water on the short third. Jaidee had done the same and Goosen put two balls in.
The only American left in then dropped another shot at the 185-yard sixth and Casey birdied the next two to press home his advantage and move in sight of the semi-finals – probably against Villegas.
Wilson, chasing his first professional victory after nine second places in his career, lost three holes in a row from the fourth, a run that ended with him needing two attempts to get out of sand.
Garcia bogeyed the next two, but returned to a two-hole lead when his opponent messed up the 10th.