The top seed and the tournament host both suffered disappointing second-round defeats in the Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Match Play at Archerfield Links this morning.
Ryder Cup contender Chris Wood lost 2&1 to fellow Englishman Daniel Brooks after finding himself six down with eight holes to play on the East Lothian coast.
Wood birdied the 11th, 12th and 14th as he threatened to pull off a stunning fightback before that was halted when the 17th was halved in par-3s.
Around the same time Paul Lawrie was losing at the first extra hole to Australian left-hander Richard Green after the Scot had been two up with three to play.
On the plus side, two other Scots, Marc Warren and Richie Ramsay, progressed to the last 16, as did another Hazeltine hopeful, Matthew Fizpatrick.
Ramsay holed a 30-foot eagle putt at the last, where he’d made a 20-footer for a birdie to win his opening match, to clinch a two-hole victory over Finn Roope Kakko.
“I was just looking to get down in two putts but it was a nice one to make for eagle,” beamed the Scot, who now meets Englishman Oliver Fisher.
Having earlier made seven birdies, Ramsay was once again delighted with his morning’s work.
“I drove the ball well again and also holed a couple of nice putts,” he added. “If I can keep it up in the afternoon, I should be a match for anyone.”
After making six birdies in his first-round win, Warren carded an eagle and five birdies in beating Swede Magnus Carlsson 3&2.
Carlsson had drawn first blood with an opening birdie but the Scot hit back by winning the next two before opening up a three-hole lead at the turn.
“Scoring-wise, I was happy again this morning but I could have been a bit better off the tee,” said Warren. “My short game and putting was definitely on form.”
His eagle from 20 feet at the 11th was set up by an arrow-like 2-iron while he then holed from out of a bunker at the 14th for one of his birdies.
“The eagle was nice as Magnus has won the previous hole with a birdie and the match was starting to come alive,” added Warren, a semi-finalist at Murcar Links 12 months ago.
“It was getting a bit scrappy at the end but I holed a nice putt to finish the match.”
The Scot now meets Haydn Porteous after the South African recovered from being one down with seven to play to beat England’s David Horsey by the same margin.
For the second round running, Fitzpatrick produced some of the best figures, starting birdie-eagle then covering 13 holes in seven-under as he crushed fellow Englishman Matt Ford 6&5.
“It’s nice to get things done quickly again,” said the 21-year-old, having already beaten Dane Thomas Bjorn 4&3 in the first round.
Fitzpatrick had missed the cuts in a row before finishing 49th in the US PGA Championship last weekend and looks to have suddenly hit form again.
“When you start making a few putts, before you know it you are back on top of tyhe world,” admitted the British Masters and Nordea Masters champion.
Craig Lee, the fourth Scot to make it to the last 32, birdied the 15th, 16th and 18th before losing to Spaniard Nacho Elvira at the 20th.
Marc Warren (Sco) bt Magnus Carlsson (Swe) 3&2
Haydn Porteous (SA) bt David Horsey (Eng) 3&2
Michael Hoey (NIre) bt Matthew Southgate (Eng) 2&1
James Morrison (Eng) bt Graeme Storm (Eng) 4&3
Richie Ramsay (Sco) bt Roope Kakko (Fin) 2 holes
Oliver Fisher (Eng) bt Simon Khan (Eng) 2&1
Chris Paisley (Eng) bt Prom Meesawat (Tha) 1 hole
Johan Carlsson (Swe) bt Robert Rock (Eng)
Richard Bland (Eng) Anthony Wall (Eng) 2&1
Richard Green (Aus) bt Paul Lawrie (Sco) at 19th
Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) bt Matt Ford (Eng) 6&5
Alejandro Canizares (Esp) bt Eduardo De La Riva (Esp) 4&3
Daniel Brooks (Eng) bt Chris Wood (Eng) 2&1
Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) bt Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 2 holes
Alex Noren (Swe) bt Renato Paratore (Ita) 4&3
Nacho Elvira (Esp) bt Craig Lee (Sco) at 20th
Warren v Porteous
Hoey v Morrison
Paisley v Carlsson
Wall v Green
Fitzpatrick v Canizares
Brooks v Kieffer
Noren v Elvira