AUSTRALIA’S Jason Day withstood the determined challenge of France’s Victor Dubuisson on Sunday to win the World Golf Championships Match Play crown with a birdie at the 23rd hole of the final.
The World Golf Championships Match Play was held at Dove Mountain in Arizona, US. Jason Day won a million dollars for his effort.
This year’s Match Play Championship had already taken a hit when three of the world’s top four golfers, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson opted not to compete.
The tournament began with 64 players who gained entry according to their world rankings.
Dubuisson had erased a three-hole deficit to extend the title match scheduled for 18 holes, and kept it going with two miraculous shots out of the desert cactus before Day finally sealed the win.
Day (26) never trailed in the match after taking the lead with a birdie at the opening hole. But that fact hardly reflected the drama of the latter stages, when Dubuisson birdied the 17th and got up and down for par from a bunker at 18 to square the match as Day bogeyed 18.
However, he was in serious trouble at the 19th hole, where his approach shot bounced into the rough and nestled in a clump of cactus.
He stepped up and took an unceremonious swing at it, sticking it six feet from the pin and making the putt to extend the game.
He hacked out of the rough again at the 20th hole en route to a par that matched Day’s.
At the fifth extra hole the par-four, Dubuisson ran out of steam. His drive bounced into thick rough and his chip out ran almost 30 feet past the pin.
Day was in the first cut of rough and managed to chip and putt for the birdie.
Rickie Fowler beat Ernie Els to take the bronze medal. As an added bonus, Fowler’s third-place finish assured him enough world ranking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the WGC-Cadillac Championship to be played in two weeks at Doral.
The young professional golfers performed well at the matchplays, out of the final eight (Day, Spieth and Fowler and Dubuisson) and three of the final four Day, Dubuisson and Fowler were golfers in their early to mid-20s.