Day def. Fowler 3 & 2 in WGC Match Play semis
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Jason Day built an early lead against Rickie Fowler in the semifinals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Sunday in Marana, Ariz., but saw his lead cut to a shot around the turn – before pulling ahead again on the back nine and claiming victory in a surprising finish.
- See our live Match Play leaderboard right here.
- See a hole-by-hole analysis of host course Dove Mountain right here.
We'll keep you updated on Day vs. Fowler all day long – plus, scroll down to check out our tournament coverage to date:
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Hole No. 16: Par 3, 199 yards
Fowler needs to answer that loss at the 15th – and sticks his tee shot close at the par-3 16th. But a three-putt from there, twice lipping out, against Day's par ends the match.
"Rickie's playing great golf right now, and I just thought if I gave him that little bit of an inch to move in he was going to knock the door down," Day tells Golf Channel. "So I was just trying to hang tough, and my game was solid today. Hopefully I can take it into the final."
JASON DAY WINS, 3 & 2
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Hole No. 15: Par 4, 343 yards
Fowler and Day both drive it close at this hole that plays shorter than its number, but Fowler can't conquer a very difficult pitch and the ball heads over the green; Day chips close enough to earn a concession after Fowler's third shot.
THRU 15: Day, 2 up
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Hole No. 14: Par 4, 449 yards
Both players earn birdie tries with their approach shots here, but both run their putts past and halve the hole with pars.
THRU 14: Day, 1 up
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Hole No. 13: Par 5, 583 yards
Day reaches the green in two at the par-5 13th while Fowler pitches on in three. Day has a difficult line and misses his first two putts – after which Fowler makes his birdie try from about 10 feet or so and pulls back within one for the first time since the seventh.
THRU 13: Day, 1 up
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Hole No. 12: Par 3, 219 yards
Day nearly chips in for birdie to extend his lead, the ball rolling over the edge of the cup – but instead misses his par comebacker to lose a bit of his lead.
THRU 12: Day, 2 up
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Hole No. 11: Par 5, 659 yards
Both players earn birdie looks, despite trouble off the tee for Fowler. Day makes, then Fowler lips out more than 270 degrees and Day takes a substantial three-shot lead with seven to play.
THRU 11: Day, 3 up
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Hole No. 10: Par 4, 493 yards
More trouble off the tee has Day trying to play catch-up once again – from the rough at No. 10 he doesn't get near the green and finds rough near the bunker well short of the green. Fowler also misses the fairway but gets onto the green with a long putt on tap. Day then pitches to the back of the green to give himself a fairly long par try. Fowler two-putts as Day makes and the lead holds steady.
THRU 10: Day, 2 up
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Hole No. 9: Par 4, 476 yards
Day's game is looking too good to say it's on the rocks today, but he finds trouble among the desert rocks off the ninth fairway and can't recover. He concedes before they get to the green and his margin shrinks a bit.
THRU 9: Day, 2 up
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Hole No. 8: Par 5, 576 yards
Both players wedge into position for short birdie tries at the par-5 eighth. Fowler's is the longer of the two good looks, and he misses high and right. Day cashes in and takes a commanding lead as they approach the turn.
THRU 8: Day, 3 up
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Hole No. 7: Par 4, 486 yards
Fowler misses the green short and right to short-side himself, while Day hits his approach to birdie range. A poor pitch on Fowler's third shot prevents him from an up-and-down and he concedes the hole.
THRU 7: Day, 2 up
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Hole No. 6: Par 3, 185 yards
At the par-3 sixth, Fowler hits the better tee shot and has a chance to square the match. Day rolls an excellent long birdie try, but it curls just short and right to give Fowler an opening. But as the American's putt from about 20 feet breaks toward the hole, it stops too short and it's another halve with pars.
THRU 6: Day, 1 up
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Hole No. 5: Par 4, 536 yards
Day has the advanatage off the tee with both length and accuracy, hitting wedge from the fairway to about 12 feet for a birdie try. Fowler finds the rough short and right off the tee, then a left-side bunker. But Day misses his birdie putt and pars halve the hole. Day seems to have the momentum of late – the question is whether he can get putts to fall or whether Fowler can sway things in his favor first.
THRU 5: Day, 1 up
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Hole No. 4: Par 4, 393 yards
After a pair of halves with pars, Day finds himself with a surprising chance to double his margin – both players miss the green off the tee, yet Day executes a nice bunker shot while Fowler chips long, then misses his par putt – but Day can't get his par putt of about 5 feet to fall, as it slides by low and left. The hole is halved with bogeys.
THRU 4: Day, 1 up
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Hole No. 1: Par 4, 460 yards
After a pair of opening tee balls that settle within two feet of each other just into the fringe and then nearly identical approach shots to behind the hole, Fowler narrowly misses his birdie putt to the right and Day buries his to take the early advantage.
THRU 1: Day, 1 up
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Saturday's fourth-round coverage
Jason Day is the only true "favorite" that is left standing at Match Play, with Victor Dubuisson, Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler all registering as semifinals surprises at Dove Mountain.
Proving that there is nothing about this purest of all golf formats that can be explained, the quarterfinals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship were played out Saturday with a series of surprises at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain.
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Friday's third-round coverage
While some might say Sergio Garcia's shocking concession on the seventh hole showed a lack of competitive spirit, but our Jeff Rude says it is a sign that the Spaniard is maturing.
In Friday’s third round, which featured eight matches, the 18th hole was the place to be at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain.
From yet another comeback by Graeme McDowell to Jordan Spieth's continued good play in match play to Bubba Watson's exit, here are 5 Things to know after Friday's round in Marana, Ariz.
Victor Dubuisson, a self-described loner, debuts in the United States while quietly ascending the world ranking.
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Thursday's second-round coverage
Thursday, we again saw evidence in the WGC-Accenture Match Play that the toughest hole can be the five inches between the ears. The mental part of the game again was on conspicuous display in, among other matches, a couple that went extra holes and were claimed by young stars Jason Day and Harris English.
Live from the desert, a golf sequel to “The Year of Living Dangerously,” with Graeme McDowell, not Mel Gibson, playing the lead role. Shaking his head, he was trying to get his thoughts around what had just transpired in the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship. By all respects, the man from Northern Ireland should have been packing his bags to head home. Instead, he’s on to the third round.
The unpredictability of match-play tournaments reared its head Thursday, and it provided plenty of surprising fireworks at Dove Mountain. From Rickie Fowler's comeback win over Jimmy Walker to Hunter Mahan's date with Graeme McDowell, as well as all four No. 1 seeds heading home, take a look at 5 Things you need to know after the Round of 32.
PHOTOS: WGC Match Play 2014
Check out photos from the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
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Wednesday's first-round coverage
Thirty-two matches, 64 players, nearly 10 hours of golf – and dozens of reasons why it's the best day of the year for pure PGA Tour fun, non-major category. But with so much going on, no time to waste. Here are 5 Things to know from Day 1 of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
And for your morning breakfast, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship served up a trio of surprises. Rickie Fowler beating Ian Poulter and Jonas Blixt eliminating Keegan Bradley? No argument there. But Bubba Watson ousting Mikko Ilonen? A surprise? If you go by stature in the game, resumes and seedings – Watson was 11th, Ilonen 54th – it surely wasn’t, but the way things turned in the American’s favor certainly was.
There are no guarantees in golf, if we hadn’t known that before. Nothing is certain, particularly in 18-hole match play, even when you are 3 down with three holes left and your opponent sends an approach shot toward the pin. That was Graeme McDowell’s predicament in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play.
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