VIRGINIA WATER, England — Shaun Micheel must be wondering if fate is on his side at the World Match Play Championship.

He was the last to qualify for the 16-man field at Wentworth. He was the first player in two months to beat Tiger Woods. And, after dusting off another European Ryder Cup player, Micheel suddenly stands one match away from the richest prize in golf.


"You have to feel that way," Micheel said Saturday after a 2-up victory over Robert Karlsson. "I don't know if destiny is the right word, but I've been gaining a lot of confidence each day. Beating Tiger can't do anything to hurt you."

The lone support in the English crowd comes from his wife, Stephanie, who is four months pregnant and has walked every hole of every match. The last time she was pregnant was in 2003, when Micheel captured the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

"It would make for a good story," Micheel said.

Paul Casey has his own script in mind after plowing through Colin Montgomerie, 6 and 5.

Micheel and Casey will play the championship match with 1 million pounds ($1.87 million) going to the winner, the biggest payoff of any official golf tournament in the world.

"I've never had the opportunity to play for that much money before," Casey said, who could go to No. 1 in the Order of Merit on the European Tour with a victory. "Where else can we win a million pounds? Unless we get on 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,' and I can't answer those questions. So this is the best opportunity I've got."

84 LUMBER CLASSIC: At Farmington, Pa., Charles Howell III shot a 4-under 68 for a share of the third-round lead with Ben Curtis in the 84 Lumber Classic.

Curtis, trying to win a lame-duck tournament for the second time this summer, had a 69 to match Howell at 12-under 204 on Nemacolin Woodlands' Mystic Rock course. Hunter Mahan (67), Robert Garrigus (68) and Greg Owen (68) were a stroke back.

CONSTELLATION ENERGY CLASSIC: At Hunt Valley, Md., Don Pooley made the most of a very long day, birdieing half the holes in an 8-under 64 that left him a stroke ahead of Keith Fergus and Massy Kuramoto after two rounds of the Constellation Energy Classic.

Pooley, who finished at 10-under 134, woke up at 4:30 a.m. because he had to complete the final four holes of the rain-delayed first round.