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Golf Australia Express : Issue 25
HUNTER MAHAN doesn’t mind claiming big scalps. Of the six men he’s just knocked over to claim his second WGC- Accenture World Match Play, three are major winners, five have played in Ryder or Presidents cups teams and the other, Mark Wilson, has won three-times in 14-months. But it wasn’t so much who the 29-year-old beat but how he got the job done around the Ritz-Carlton course. Before Mahan reached the championship match with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, he put away Y.E Yang, Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker, 5&3, 4&3 and 6&5 respectively. In all he shot 35 birdies in 96-holes over six matches. And when it came to the clutch of the final, he continually bombarded the hole with aggressive shot-making. By the 10th hole, Mahan was 4up and already had McIlroy on toast. Although the 22-year-old Northern Irishman clawed back two holes with an eagle at the 11th and a birdie at the 14th, Mahan coolly closed out the match 2&1 when both players birdied the 15th and halved the next two. “It feels good because you’re going against the game’s best,” Mahan said after claiming his 4th PGA title. “I played well from tee-to- green, putting to chipping to driving, irons; everything was there. I needed everything to win. I’m very proud of how I played. It feels great. It really does.” In the consolation final, perennial underdog Mark Wilson defeated Lee Westwood 1up to take 3rd place in the event. Mahan pocketed $1.4 million and moved up to world No.9 to crack the top 10 for the first time in his career. OTG WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE BIG STAGE WRAP THE HUNTER’S DESERT PRIZE WGC-Accenture Match Play, Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Arizona, USA “ I needed everything to win. I’m very proud of how I played. It feels great. It really does.”