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

Where next?
PGA Tour –
John Huh wins Mayakoba Classic