It wasn’t easy, but Jason Day outlasted Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson through 23 holes of some of the best golf I’ve seen in some time. The 26 year-old Aussie got close at The 2013 Accenture Match Play Championships, but fell in the semi-final round to eventual winner, Matt Kuchar. The little Frenchman made him earn it at The Ritz Carlton Resort on Sunday but at the end of the day, Jason Day gets his second win on the PGA Tour.
The WGC win vaulted Jason into fourth place in Official World Golf Rankings, and to 11th in 2014 FedEx Cup points. His last win came almost four years ago at the 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship. He has a load of talent, but just has not been able to get over the hump, and into the Winner’s Circle, until Sunday at Dove Mountain.
On Saturday night, in fact, Day had tried to visualize himself holding the wedgewood blue Walter Hagen Cup. He thought about how great it would be to finally end a victory drought that stretched back to the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
“I kept telling myself I want it more than anything in the world,” Day said firmly.
After dispatching Rickie Fowler 3 & 2 in the Semi-Final round, it looked like his match with 23 year-old Victor Dubuisson would be a cake walk. In fact, just like his morning match with four-time major champ, Ernie Els, Dubuisson put his first two drives in the desert and got two down quickly. Dubuisson got back in the match and was All Square by the fourth hole.
Day dominated the remainder of the front nine, and took a three up lead that lasted until the 13th hole. Dubuisson got a much-needed birdie, and back into the match. Jason Day had the young Frenchman down with a foot on his throat when they went to 17 two up with two to play.
That’s when Jason Day had to put his will to win, and pictures in his mind lifting the trophy to get past what came next. Victor Dubuisson took the match to 23 holes with two saves from cactus and television cables that folks will be talking about for months. The little Frenchman finally made a mistake on the 23rd hole, and Day was able to lift the trophy.
Jason Day has four top ten finishes at major championships in the last four years, and has done everything except win. He is without a doubt, a world-class golfer who has just had some bad luck along the way. I look for him to be a legitimate contender when the Tour gets to Augusta in April.
Day finished T 2 at the Masters in 2011, and finished sole third in 2013. He has the distance, and short game to be very competitive in 2014. All he needed was some confidence and faith, and he got all of that on Sunday at Dove Mountain.
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