CASARES, Spain (AP) — Ross Fisher rallied from a three-hole deficit to draw even with Masters champion Angel Cabrera halfway through the World Match Play Championship semifinals on Saturday, while Anthony Kim and Robert Allenby were also all-square after 18 holes.
Fisher’s birdie at the last hole capped a back-nine turnaround, with the Argentine having been 3-up after 13 holes in near perfect conditions at the Finca Cortesin golf course.
Kim also rallied from a two-hole deficit before briefly taking the lead against his Australian opponent, whom he beat at the Presidents Cup earlier this month. Allenby birdied the 17th to ensure the pair went into the final 18 all-square.
Fisher rolled in from 10 feet at the 11th hole to halve the contest, but then slipped as the former U.S. Open champion took the next two holes. The Englishman started his rally at the 14th then nearly holing from the bunker at the 15th to cut the deficit to one and was all-square after Cabrera missed his putt at the last.
Cabrera, the crowd favorite, is vying for a second straight final appearance on Sunday from a third semifinal.
“The more you play, the more experience you have and the more that helps,” said the Argentine, who lost to Ernie Els in last year’s final.
Kim and Allenby were meeting for the first time since the American beat Allenby 5 and 3 at the Presidents Cup. Allenby followed that loss with comments about how Kim stayed out drinking late into the morning before their singles match.
Some tension was apparent Saturday as Kim made the Australian putt out from short distances, including a foot and a half at the 15th.
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t care, I’ll put ’em all out if he wants,” Allenby said. “I’m happy to putt them, I know I’m not going to miss them. I might do the same to him this afternoon.”
Down two coming into the ninth, Kim pitched to about 7 feet and sank the putt to take advantage of Allenby’s miss from the fringe. Kim drew even at the par-3 10th after rolling in his par after Allenby missed from about 4 feet.
Kim went ahead for the first time since the second hole when Allenby’s poor approach at the 16th left him a tricky 5-footer that he missed left. But Allenby won the 17th to leave it all square going into the deciding 18 holes.
“I’m pretty focused on my game and not worried about what he’s doing,” Kim said.
Allenby struggled around the greens and their tough pin positions.
“I made a couple of mistakes and he made a couple of mistakes and it kind of evened us out,” Allenby said. “Hopefully this afternoon I can just make a few more putts.”