Day outlasts Dubuisson, wins thrilling Match Play

Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:38pm EST
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(Reuters) - Jason Day fended off a stunning fightback by Frenchman Victor Dubuisson to clinch the biggest title of his career with a one-up victory after 23 holes in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship final in Marana, Arizona on Sunday.

A commanding three up lead after 12 holes on an afternoon of light breezes at Dove Mountain, Australian Day was caught by the Frenchman, who recorded clutch birdies at the 13th and 17th, followed by an amazing par from a greenside bunker at the 18th.

Dubuisson then conjured two miraculous up-and-downs from desert scrub at the 19th and 20th holes to keep the match alive before Day sealed the win by sinking a four-footer for birdie at the 23rd, the driveable par-four 15th.

The Frenchman, who had missed the green to the right off the tee, hit a high lob wedge 20 feet past the cup and missed the birdie putt coming back before the Australian made his to secure the title.

"I've never wanted something so bad in my life," an emotional Day, 26, told CBS Sports after clinching the winner's check for $1.53 million.

"Obviously I didn't want it to go this long but Victor, he has a lot of guts and he has got a great short game. He got it straight out of a cactus twice.

"The biggest thing was just how much do I want it, how much do I want to win? I kept saying that to myself last night, kept visualizing myself with the trophy. I am just glad that I could finish it off, but it was a close one."

It was Day's second triumph on the PGA Tour, following the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship, and his first success in one of the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) events which bring together the game's leading players.

Dubuisson, who had never previously played matchplay golf until his WGC debut this week, appeared to be on the way to a heavy defeat after he recorded five bogeys in the first seven holes to reach the turn three down.   Continued...

Feb 23, 2014; Marana, AZ, USA; Jason Day poses with the Walter Hagen Trophy after winning the final round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports