In the NCAA tournament during March Madness each year, the cliche “Survive and Advance” seems to define each teams’ tournament run, but in this week’s Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, those have been the words that really define Graeme McDowell’s road to the elite eight.
After defeating Hunter Mahan, a familiar foe from the Ryder Cup, McDowell said,”I can’t believe it, really. I’ve just robbed three players.”
Coming down the stretch on Friday, McDowell was down 2 holes with 2 to go, and after drilling two clutch putts, McDowell extended the match to a playoff where he was able to hit another two clutch putts including a 14-footer to win the match, “surviving and advancing.”
It really has been unbelievable, as McDowell, who has trailed in every match going into the last few holes, is now advancing to the elite eight to face #7 seed Victor Dubuisson who was able to hold off Bubba Watson’s late comeback.
Although McDowell is known for being one of the clutchest golfers in the world, what he did today was almost impossible and might not be done again.
Even though, McDowell might need it for tomorrow, when he’ll quite possibly trail again.
Other notable winners on Day 3 were Jordan Spieth, who beat defending champion Matt Kuchar, Jason Day, who looks to be playing some of the best golf of his career, the “Big Easy” (Ernie Els) who knocked off Jason Dufner, and Rickie Fowler, who beat Sergio Garcia after Garcia controversially conceded a 17-foot putt earlier in the round.
Make sure to tune in to Day 4 of the championship tomorrow at 12:00 P.M. ET on the Golf Channel!