Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day wins wild Match Play final

MARANA, Ariz.—Jason Day posed with a trophy he always believed would be his when he arrived in the high desert of Arizona for the Match Play Championship.
He never could have imagined how.

Day stood over a 20-foot birdie putt to beat Victor Dubuisson on the 17th hole at Dove Mountain yesterday—a championship match that had been far from memorable to that point.
When it finally ended on the 23rd hole, they delivered the wildest conclusion ever in the 16-year history this World Golf Championship.
Twice Day thought Dubuisson had no shot. Twice the Frenchman delivered shots out of the desert that did not look humanly possible.
“I felt like I had a heart attack out there a couple of times,” Day remarked.
“Match play is very exciting because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The biggest flaw of the Accenture Match Play Championship is that it works in reverse. The excitement is at the start of the five-day tournament, and when the 64-man field is reduced to two finalists, the championship match rarely provides compelling theatre no matter who is playing.
That all changed yesterday.
All it took was a 26-year-old Australian who played like he’s ready to fulfil his talent and a 23-year-old Frenchman who starred in defeat with two par saves in a playoff that even the great Seve Ballesteros would have applauded.
“Those two shots were amazing,” Dubuisson conceded.
“I just played it like I had nothing to lose.”
By the end of a long day, so much was forgotten.
Day reached the final by holding off Rickie Fowler, who had a chance to cut the deficit to one hole with a six-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole but instead three-putted for bogey to lose the match.
Dubuisson, meanwhile, became the third player to reach the final in his debut when he beat Ernie Els on the 18th hole.
Els hit into the bunker short of the green and missed a 12-foot putt to extend the match.
Fowler beat Els in 19 holes in the third-place match.

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