Monday, February 24, 2014

All in a Day

Frenchman Victor Dubuisson was denied victory on his World Golf Championships debut by Australian Jason Day in the most thrilling final in the history of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Dubuisson edged out South African Ernie Els one up in the morning semi-final before taking on Day, who beat Rickie Fowler 3&2 in the other last-four clash. Day looked set for victory at two up with two to play, but Dubuisson fought back in sublime fashion with up-and-downs from sand on the 17th and 18th to win both holes.  The 23 year old kept the match alive with miraculous shots from cacti following errant approaches on the first two extra holes, saving par both times, and had a 20 foot putt to win on the 22nd, which came up agonisingly short. His short game was magnificent all day, but on the 23rd hole his chip from thick rough ran way past the flag, and Day’s par was enough to clinch the title and the US$1,530,000 first prize. Dubuisson’s performance drew comparisons with the late Seve Ballesteros for his never say die attitude and ability to conjure shots from nowhere, and he described the two chips from the desert as “amazing”. “I just played them like I had nothing to lose,” he said. “I’m happy but at the same time disappointed, because this afternoon I didn't play very well. I just battled, especially on the back nine. “I made some good shots, but Jason made some very good putts during the round. His birdie on the par five was amazing. And then he made a very important putt to win. “I tried to do my best. I tried to fight back. I made a good birdie on the 17th, but in a play-off, you never know how it can go. Next time I will be ready.”Dubuisson is virtually assured of his place on the European Ryder Cup team in September, achieving his main goal for the season. “I didn’t like to say it was my number one target, because that would have put extra pressure on me, but it was my number one target,” he added. “I'm very excited and this was very good preparation for me because now I know what I need to work on.” Day praised Dubuisson’s comeback, saying: “Coming down the stretch he was just unbelievable. I've never seen someone as young, apart from Jordan Spieth, and in the old days Tiger Woods, be so clutch, especially out of the cactus. “I kept shaking my head because it was so surprising. There were a couple of times where I thought he was absolutely dead. The tournament was mine. I just stuck through it and it was tough, but I'm glad I got it done.”

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