Kuchar wins Match Play title

Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:54pm EST
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

MARANA, Arizona (Reuters) - Matt Kuchar derailed Hunter Mahan's bid to win back-to-back titles at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship with a 2&1 victory over his fellow American in the final on Sunday.

Four up after nine holes on a chilly afternoon of biting winds at Dove Mountain, Kuchar fended off a late Mahan fight back before sealing the win at the par-four 17th where his opponent took four shots to reach the green.

It was Kuchar's fifth triumph on the PGA Tour and his first success in one of the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) events which bring together the game's leading players.

Defending champion Mahan, who had not trailed in any of his five previous matches this week, never recovered after going three down with a run of four consecutive bogeys from the par-three third.

Both players wore balaclavas as temperatures dropped to the mid-40s (F) with a wind chill factor of 37 and Mahan faltered early, bogeying the par-four fourth after failing to reach the green in two and hitting a poor chip 20 feet short.

He also bogeyed the fifth, after taking three shots to reach the green, and the par-three sixth, where he three-putted from long range, to go three down.

Kuchar then went 4-up with a birdie at the par-five eighth, getting up and down from just off the back of the green while Mahan had to settle for a par after missing the green well to the left with his second shot.

FIRST BIRDIE   Continued...

 
Matt Kuchar (R) of the U.S. tees off on the 16th hole as Hunter Mahan of the U.S. watches in the background during the championship match of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship golf tournament in Marana, Arizona February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan