Hunter Mahan wins Accenture Matchplay

Hunter Mahan out maneuvered Rory McIlroy 2 and 1 in the championship match to earn his second-career victory in a World Golf Championship.

Successful hunt

Asked if it felt good to win Hunter said,

“Yeah, boy, it feels good. It feels good. It’s been;  I didn’t realize how difficult it is to win this week because it is six matches and you’re playing against the best players in the world. I had to beat Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Y.E. Yang, and Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, all tough players, all tough match play players. It feels good because you’re going against the game’s best. I played well from tee-to-green, putting to chipping to driving, irons, everything was there. I needed everything to win. It feels good. I’m very proud of how I played. It feels great. It really does.”


Rory was trying to find the positives out of the week,

“Yeah, you know, not the result that I wanted going out this afternoon. It’s still been a positive week. I got through a couple of matches early on this week, which could have went either way. I dug in there and I was able to find some good golf when I needed to. So that was a positive. Yeah, it’s a good result. It’s, again, not what I was looking for. But I can look back on this week and take many positives out of it.”

With Westwood and McIlroy both failing to win this event, Luke Donald remains as the number one golfer in the world, probably much to his surprise.

The M’s beat the W’s in Accenture Matchplay semi’s

McIlroy and Mahan beat off the challenges of Westwood and Wilson in the Accenture Matchplay semi finals at Dove Mountain in Arizona. McIlroy won 3 & 2 in a good match with Lee Westwood, and now has the chance to go to #1 in the world with a win over Hunter Mahan in the final. Hunter beat Mark Wilson   2 & 1, for his chance at the title.

Live: Final matches


Will update this post after the final later today.

The winner of the semi between Rory McIlroy-Lee Westwood match will be 18 holes away from assuming the world No. 1 ranking.

The semi final winner of the Accenture Matchplay Championship between Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy will be 18 holes away from assuming the world golf ranking of #1.

Westwood dispatched Martin Laird 4 & 2, while Rory McIlroy cruised passed Sang-moon Bae of South Korea 3 & 2. Lee said of his round,

“Well, I played solidly. I didn’t make a bogey. Martin gave me a couple of birdies; I made three others. 5 under par is solid golf. The course felt trickier today. A little bit more breeze out there. A couple of the flags were really tough. Martin started the match how I would like to have started it. He birdied the first two holes and got 1 up. And I suppose I could have been 3 down after three holes. But I made a nice 4 footer for a half of the second, and he missed from what was a makeable chance. So it was just a case of not giving any holes away and waiting for Martin to make a mistake. He gave me a couple of holes on the turn on 7 and 9 and then the 10th really. So you can’t do that at this level.”

Asked about the upcoming semi with Rory, Lee replied,

It’ll be exciting, won’t it? The seeds have worked out or they should work out. We’re both No. 1 seeds. That’s how it should be in the semifinals. One of us will have a chance to get to the final and win the tournament. That’s my main priority to go out tomorrow morning and play well.”

More than a match

Rory also said the semi would be an exciting match,

“Walking around the locker room I said I’ll see you on the first tee tomorrow morning. Yeah, I think it’s the match that most people wanted and definitely the match that I wanted. And I’m excited about tomorrow. It should be a lot of fun and very exciting for everyone involved. The way Lee plays, you know he’s going to hit fairways, he’s going to hit greens, he’s going to put you under pressure the whole day. He’s not going to take his foot off the pedal. He’s not going to give you any holes. So you have to play the exact same way. You’ve got to hit fairways, hit greens, give yourself plenty of opportunities. And I think tomorrow it’ll just come down to who holes the most putts.”

One fine day

Mark Wilson beat Peter Hanson 4 & 3, and Hunter Mahan was a 6 & 5 winner over Matt Kuchar. Mark was also looking forward to his match up with Hunter Mahan,

“Hunter tomorrow. A couple of Ping guys going at it. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done. I’m looking forward to it.”

Hunter spoke of his win over Matt Kuchar, saying,

“Today the course is playing tougher, didn’t make as many birdies. Matt didn’t play as well as he can or usually does. It made it easier to win a few holes with par.  I think Mark is going to hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, he’s a steady, consistent player. He’s playing well now. It would be fun to play against a Ping guy in Arizona. That will be exciting.”

Still Huntingp

photos/getty images

As at footnote the TV coverage for this event is like a breath of fresh air, the commentators, Ewen Murray, in particular gives concise and accurate opinions of the golfing action that’s taking place. The other channel seems to want to treat the viewer to a lighted comedy routine, endless repeats of old action, not to mention the commentators plugging the sponsors goods. So nice just to watch live golf, presented in a professional manner.

Accenture Match Play Championship, 3rd Round, McIlroy and Westwood through.

Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood , won their third-round matches on Friday at the Ritz Carlton golf course. They’re on a collision course to meet in the semifinals, but first they’ll have to get past a couple of double-digit seeds in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

McIlroy triumphed over  Miguel Angel Jimenez and will now face the biggest surprise of this week,  Sang-moon Bae of Korea, who despatched  John Senden and becomes just the third Korean to reach the quarterfinals in this event.

Working for the weekend

McIlroy’s commented’

“Miguel is a veteran and a wily competitor, even with a three-hole lead, it wasn’t safe. “I don’t think you’ve seen my best, but there definitely were glimpses of it today.”

Westwood comfortably beat Nick Watney 3 and 2 and will now face Martin Laird, who got the better of  his countryman Paul Lawrie      3 and 1. Lee has stated that  being No. 1 in the world is not his top priority, but,

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say every guy playing this week wants to be No. 1 in the world. It means you’re playing well, for starters.”

Lee got his revenge over the American, Watney, who had knocked him out the previous two years,

“I really didn’t want to make it a hat trick of wins on his part. I made a lot of birdies today and didn’t let Nick get into the match.”

Mark Wilson eliminated Dustin Johnson for the second straight year, this time 4 and 3. Mark will now face Peter Hanson, who beat Brandt Snedeker 5 and 3.

Hunter Mahan was a 4 and 3 winner over Steve Stricker, yesterdays birthday boy. He will now do battle with another USA player, Matt Kuchar, also a 4 and 3 winner over Martin Kaymer.

Hunter said after his win;

“No doubt it was going to be a tough match, luckily I brought my ‘A’ game. I played solid tee to green.”

Matt was happy with his days work, saying,

“I played some great golf, Martin’s a tough competitor.”

Rory Rory McIlroy or Lee Westwood could take over No. 1 this week

With a win in the Accenture Matchplay Championships either Rory McIlroy or Lee West wood will take over a World #1 this week. Luke Donalds early exit from this competition gives both of them the opportunity to take the coveted  # 1 spot in the official rankings. What a great competition this turning out to be, except of course Tiger Woods fans, who watched him miss a simple 5 foot putt, to hand the victory to Nick Watney, Nick now faces Lee Westwood in the next round.

 Greenwood/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy, who was aware of the possibility of being #1 before the tournament began was determined not to let the ranking become his primary focus

“To be honest, I came in here yesterday and talked about if I play well and just win matches, that will take care of itself. But obviously it’s another incentive waking up each morning and knowing that if you win your match at the end of that day, at the end of the week you could be World No.1. Yeah, I haven’t really thought about it. I saw the result on one of the scoreboards on 17, I think. So, yeah, we’ll see what happens. I have to get through a lot of matches before that. But it definitely gives me an added incentive this week.”

Rory will face Miguel Ángel Jiménez in the next round after his win over  USPGA champion Keegan Bradley.

And then there were 16PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGE

Lee Westwood said about his progress that in 11 years of trying, the world No 2 had never reached the third round in this ultimate test of head-to-head nerve, until his 3&2 dispatch of Sweden’s Robert Karlsson sealed his place in the last 16.

“I feel like the first man on the moon. It’s one giant step, through to Match Play on Friday. I need more clothes, I didn’t pack for long enough.”

Lee’s big problem is he now faces Nick Watney the man who has eliminated the Englishmen two straight years. Steve Stricker on his 45th birthday also progressed to the next round after drilling in a 21 foot putt on the 18th to defeat Louis Oosthuizen.

We meet againGETTY IMAGES

Lee Westwood                                                                                                  Nick Watney

Steve Stricker, celebrating his 45th birthday,  drilled in a 21 foot putt on the 18th green to defeat Louis Oosthuizen, and after his first round drubbing of Luke Donald, Ernie Els had to taste some of the same medicine as he went down to Peter Hanson, 5 & 4.


























Ernie eliminates Luke @ WGC Accenture Matchplay

Ernie Els dusted off all his cobwebs and eliminated world number one Luke Donald in the first round of the WGC Accenture Matchplay Tournament. The event is being held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Arizona.

Eliminate is probably a sympathetic term, in reality it was more like annihilation. Els triumphing 5 & 4 over an out of touch and surely out of form world number one, and top seed here. Luke continued his poor start to this season, and needs something good to happen soon, or he will soon be tumbling down the world rankings. It was hard for Luke to pinpoint what happened to him today;

I’m not sure where to start. I just didn’t play very well. It’s disappointing. I’ve been working really hard. To lose control of the golf ball like I did today is really frustrating, but I believe the hard work will start paying off soon.  I don’t think it would have mattered who I played today; I just didn’t play well. I struggled. I gave away too many holes and made too many mistakes. You can’t do that in match play against anyone, let alone Ernie.

One and done


Ernie himself was pretty philosophical about it.

” Well, yeah, I mean, I was trying to just take it as a first round match. Obviously there was a bit of hype. There’s always hype when the No.1 player is playing with the No. 64 seed. But I think Luke and I took it for what it was, you know. And I think he didn’t want to play me and I sure as hell didn’t want to play him the first round. But that’s the way it worked out. But I played well. I thought I hit the ball well and eventually made the odd putt. Luke had a bit of an off day. I’m obviously very pleased to go through.

“As I said before, I’m sure he didn’t want to play me. Obviously I can play a little bit of golf. So I’m sure he didn’t really want to face me. And I was just glad to be in the event. So if I was going to play Luke or Rory or Westwood, I knew I had to be on my game. So it was a bit of a situation coming into this week. Last week wasn’t great, but Monday and Tuesday I could practice and felt comfortable.”

“I played the Callaway ball, the HX ball, which launches a bit higher and in this altitude I felt that an advantage on Luke, if I played him.”

Match recaps: Day 1


Robert Rock of England the 15th seed disposed of  the 2nd seed Aussie Adam Scott, just 1 up. Good to see Robert continuing his good recent play.

Other notables on the way home after the first round included;

Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson, who all faltered in the quickfire first round of 18 holes.




Ernie Els, ranked 65th in the world a week ago, is in the field for this week’s World Golf Championships, Accenture Match Play Championship, this is because Phil Mickelson isn’t playing.  Phil is spending the week on a family vacation, that meant Els nabbed the final spot in the tournament. Ernie joked on Monday;

“I’ve got some good red wines I can give him, and I definitely will buy him a dinner whenever he wants it.”

Mind you Ernie’s record in this competition has not been too good recently. Each of the last two years, he’s gone out in the second round, and three of the four years prior to that, he was eliminated in the first round. This years first round opponent, in Wednesday’s opening round,  is none other than world number one Luke Donald, last years the defending champion.

When questioned why he seems to struggle in this tournament Ernie replied;

“The format is different, over an 18-hole match, it feels quite fast. I’m kind of sometimes a slow starter and getting into the match. I felt on a 36-hole match like we had at Wentworth, I could feel I could get wired in. I felt my game could stand up for a long period of time, and maybe grind the guy down a little bit. I think that’s why I had such a good record there.”

Talking about his match up with Luke Donald for the first round Ernie said;

”Obviously he’s in great form, he had an unbelievable year last year and becoming world No. 1. He’s got a lot going for him. It’s not like I’m the worst match player in the world. I think I know what I need to do. You’ve  got to keep the ball in play. You’ve got to keep it in play on every single hole, because he’s going to be in every hole.”

Good Luck Ernie, I think you are going to need it.

Live Report ImageMiralle/Getty Images