Four of the most unlikely candidates have reached the Sunday Finale’ at The Accenture Match Play Championships. The only player remaining in the field who played on Sunday last year, is Jason Day. What’s remaining for the field today is two 18 hole semi-final matches with the winners playing an 18 hole match for the championship, and an 18 hole losers match. Four players and 36 holes, should be a great match.
Jason Day took care of South African, Louis Oosthuizen on Saturday afternoon, dispatching the 2010 Open Champ 2 & 1. Oosthuizen had trouble getting his back to cooperate at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain Resort, hitting his first two drives into the desert, and into unplayable lies.
After trying one shot to hit out on the opening hole, he conceded the hole to the young Australian. One shot, and Jason Day was up one. Oosthuizen took an unplayable lie on the par five second, and surprised everyone with a birdie that evened the match.
Jim Furyk got three down early in the Ben Hogan Division final to a resurgent Rickie Fowler, but playing his chip-away game was able to pull All Square at the 15th hole. Fowler would bogey the 16th hole and give Furyk his only lead of the day. Unfortunately, Jim Furyk bogeyed both final holes, and put Rickie in the semifinal matches today.
Jordan Spieth had a day that exposed his age. The 20 year-old made some dumb shots and let the four-time major champion get in his head. Ernie Els beat the youngster 4 & 2 in a match that wasn’t nearly as close as the score. The 2012 Open Champ went one up at the eighth hole, and never trailed again in the match.
The best match of the day was 2010 US Open Champ, Graeme McDowell, and 23 year-old Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson. After trading punches all day, the match went All Square at the 13th hole with Dubuisson going one up at 16. McDowell couldn’t find the magic on the final two holes that he had all week to put the Frenchman away.
Dubuisson held on for the one up win, and will make it to the Final Four in his first appearance in this event. McDowell said in a press conference after the round that he just couldn’t make a putt coming down the stretch that counted. He also said he will be looking forward to his young competitor being a teammate in the upcoming Ryder Cup in September.
The semi-finals get underway at 9 AM on Sunday with the Bobby Jones Division winner, Jason Day taking on the Ben Hogan winner, Rickie Fowler. The Gary Player Division winner, Ernie Els will get the young Frenchman who won the Sam Snead Division.
It will only be fitting for Jason Day to break through this year after losing in the Semi-finals last year, but he will face a tough match with Rickie Fowler. With his new Butch Harmon golf swing, and a putter that is red-hot, Rickie Fowler will give the Aussie everything he wants today.
Ernie Els got a gift on Saturday with the Jordan Spieth meltdown, but he won’t get the same gift from Victor Dubuisson today. He will need his A Game if he wants to beat the young Frenchman and advance to the afternoon championship match.
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