Hunter Mahan of the USA overcame Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy to win the final of the WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Arizona.
Mahan defeated countryman Mark Wilson in the morning’s semi-finals then saw off McIlroy in the afternoon’s final by 2&1. The Northern Irishman could have moved to World Number 1 with a victory in this event but a number of errors early in the final round scuppered his chances.
McIlroy double-bogeyed the 7th to go two down, he made a second straight six at the next to fall three behind and was four holes adrift after Mahan birdied the 10th.
The 22-year-old came to life on the back nine with a chip-in eagle at the 11th and then three straight birdies from the 13th. But it was too little too late and Mahan sealed the deal with a par on the 17th.
“It wasn’t to be. I didn’t have my best game with me this week,” said McIlroy. “But I’m happy with how I’m playing and hopefully it won’t be long before I’m winning again.”
McIlroy will have another chance to move to World Number 1 in this week’s Honda Classic, an event that current Number 1 Luke Donald is not playing in. But the US Open Champion is now focusing his attentions on the year’s first Major.
“I’ve got two more tournaments to go before the Masters and that’s what I’m building up to,” he said.
In the third place playoff at Dove Mountain, Mark Wilson of the USA beat England’s Lee Westwood on the final green.
WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship
Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Arizona
Feb 22-26, purse €6,440,000 par 72
1 Hunter Mahan (USA) €1,060,767
2 Rory McIlroy (NIR) €644,037
3 Mark Wilson (USA) €454,614
4 Lee Westwood (Eng) €371,268
T5 Bae Sang-moon (Kor) €204,576
T5 Peter Hanson (Swe) €204,576
T5 Matt Kuchar (USA) €204,576
T5 Martin Laird (Sco) €204,576
T9 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) €106,077
T9 Dustin Johnson (USA) €106,077
T9 Martin Kaymer (Ger) €106,077
T9 Paul Lawrie (Sco) €106,077
T9 John Senden (Aus) €106,077
T9 Brandt Snedeker (USA) €106,077
T9 Steve Stricker (USA) €106,077
T9 Nick Watney (USA) €106,077
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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