COSTA DEL SOL, Spain -- Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, the top- two ranked players in the world, cruised to easy wins Thursday at the Volvo World Match Play Championship.
Westwood trounced Anders Hansen, 6 & 5, while Donald downed Ryan Moore, 4 & 3, at Finca Cortesin Golf Club.
Sixteen of the 24 players in the field were in action Thursday. The 24 players are broken into eight groups of three and there was one match per group Thursday.
The first round will resume Friday with two more matches per group. One player from each group will be eliminated after Friday's play, then the quarterfinals will take place on Saturday. The semifinals and final are on Sunday.
Other winners on Thursday included reigning major champions Martin Kaymer (PGA Championship) and Graeme McDowell (U.S. Open), Rory McIlroy as well as Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and Alvaro Quiros.
The opening match of the day between Francesco Molinari and Ian Poulter was halved when Poulter rolled in a three-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole.
Westwood made quick work of Hansen. After the duo halved the first four holes, Westwood won six of seven holes from the fifth. Five of Westwood's six wins were with birdies.
With a 6-up lead through 11, Westwood and Hansen halved 12 and 13 to end the match.
Donald and Moore traded wins on the first two holes. Donald birdied the par- five third to reclaim a 1-up lead. A par on the sixth and a birdie on No. 7 extended Donald's lead to 3-up.
Moore got one back when he took the 12th with a par. Donald closed the match with back-to-back birdies from the 14th.
In a battle of the last two PGA Championship winners, Kaymer held off Y.E. Yang, 2 & 1. After Kaymer won two of the first three holes, Yang won three of four holes from the fifth to go 1-up.
Kaymer squared the match with a par on the ninth. Yang took the first two holes around the turn with birdies, but Kaymer won the next four holes to go 2-up. The pair halved the last two holes to give Kaymer the match.
McDowell took down reigning British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen. McDowell won the second and third. The duo traded wins on six and seven before Oosthuizen took the eighth and ninth to square the match.
McDowell eagled the 11th to regain the lead. He pushed his margin to 2-up with a birdie on 13 and another birdie on the 17th sealed the 3 & 1 win.
McIlroy bested Retief Goosen, 1-up, in a back-and-forth match. McIlroy won the second with a birdie, but Goosen took three of four holes from fourth to move 2-up.
Birdies by McIlroy on eight and nine evened the match. They traded wins at 10 and 11, before Goosen took his last lead with a par on No. 12. McIlroy squared the match with a par on 14 and grabbed a 1-up lead with a birdie on 15. The duo halved the last three holes to give McIlroy the match.
Jimenez crushed Masters winner Charl Schwartzel, 6 & 5. Jimenez took the first two holes with pars and never looked back. The Spaniard also won the fifth and eighth to take a 4-up lead to the back nine.
Jimenez parred 11 to go 5-up and closed the match with a birdie on the 13th. Schwartzel joined Hansen as the only two players not to win a single hole on Thursday.
Quiros held off world No. 9 Paul Casey, 3 & 1. Quiros took the first two holes. The pair traded wins four times between the fourth and 14th with Casey cutting his deficit to 1-down each time only to have Quiros push his advantage back to 2-up.
The Spaniard two-putted for par on the par-three 17th to wrap up the win.
Molinari flew out of the gate winning the first three holes on Poulter. The Englishman slowly fought back with wins on four and seven to get within 1- down.
The Italian birdied 11 to regain a 2-up margin, but Poulter came right back with a par to win the 12th. They halved five straight as Molinari took a 1-up lead to the last. Poulter almost holed his third for eagle at the par-five 18th, but settled for a three-foot birdie putt that halved the match.