beat (one) to the draw

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beat (one) to the draw

To do, find, or accomplish something quicker than one is able. An allusion to drawing one's weapon in a duel. I had a perfect chance to score a goal, but their defender beat me to the draw and stole the ball away. Tom was just about to answer the teacher's question when Sally beat him to the draw.
See also: beat, draw, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

beat to the punch/draw

Move more quickly than someone to accomplish something: for example, “We headed straight for the buffet, but others beat us to the punch and got most of the lobster salad.” Both versions of this cliché date from the mid-1800s and imply an aggressive move, the first alluding to fisticuffs and the second to drawing a pistol.
See also: beat, draw, punch, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
'Naunahan na niya tayo,' (He beat us to the draw), German, who has 53 years of experience in PR, said.
We should just admit that when Gateshead erected the Angel of the North, they beat us to the draw and, even with five giants, our area will never match that inspired icon - the more you have, the less each is valued.
The plan to fly to Leyte was stalled when Supertyphoon "Yolanda" beat us to the draw in November last year.