WGC Accenture Match Play Final Thoughts

PhotobucketCongratulations to Hunter Mahan for his relatively convincing 2 and 1 victory over Rory McIlroy. It really wasn’t as close as that. Mahan went up at the sixth, and then maintained the lead until the end—at one point going up by four. For all his brilliance, McIlroy could just never get it going.

The victory will have Mahan inside the top ten in the world rankings at the same time that it denies McIlroy the number one spot. I am hoping that for Mahan this is a breakout year. He has four Tour wins, including two WGC titles: the Match Play and the 2010 Bridgestone. Based on his play this week—and the competition he defeated—Mahan should be on the short list for a Major this year.

The Westwood-Wilson match not much more competitive. Wilson went one up at the second, and to three up by the thirteenth, but Westwood managed to get that margin back to one by the end. Westwood perhaps can argue that he ran out of holes just as he was getting it started.

Television analysts were making excuses for McIlroy and Westwood—that the morning match had taken too much out of them.  McIlroy also chimed in with that sentiment:

No disrespect to the other players in the semis, but it was like my final (vs Westwood). That was the match I wanted all week. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that Hunter played solid golf. And through the course of the week, he played the best and deserved to win.

Even though I threw a few birdies and an eagle at him on the back nine, he still responded well and held on. Maybe the intensity wasn’t quite as much as it was this morning going out. I think that’s a little understandable after going through a match like that, thinking about it all last night and this morning.

Ridiculous. Mahan and Wilson—both of whom won in the final round—also played that morning. Their match was to them no less “intense” than the McIlroy – Westwood match.

For the mainstream golf media media (MSGM) to say that McIlroy and Westwood were gassed takes away from the stellar play of Mahan and Wilson. Of course, the comments are in line with what seems to be the mainstream golf media’s current theology—that the international tours have surpassed the PGA Tour in quality of golf. What the MSGM is really saying is screw the results, Rory and Lee are better and deserved to win.

I totally disagree. Mahan and Wilson chewed their way through a slew of quality opponents and after playing the same number of rounds, beat the two presumptive kings face to face.

Both Westwood and McIlroy will be at the Honda this next week. They’ll have another chance to prove International dominance there. But they better hope John Huh isn’t in the field. smile


While all eyes were on match play, John Huh was winning in Mexico. At the Mayakoba, Huh outlasted Robert Allenby in an EIGHT HOLE PLAYOFF. That’s short of the record of eleven at the 1949 Motor City Open in which they gave up and declared a tie between Lloyd Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff. Huh is looking like a star, too. Since graduating from Q School last fall, he’s made the cut in all five of his starts, with two top tens and three top 25s (including today’s victory).



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2 thoughts on “WGC Accenture Match Play Final Thoughts”

  1. McIlroy had put a lot of energy into his match with Westwood and didn’t have anything left for the final.

    Full credit to Mahan though, he played fantastic all week and thoroughly deserved his victory.

  2. I felt the exact same!  For the first 14-16 holes of the Mahon/McIlroy match, the guys in the booth were just building the match as a coronation of McIlroy as the #1 player.  He was playing some “other guy” who was going to lose at some point.  Ridiculous!  I keept pulling for Mahon because he played just as hard in the earlier match.  My hat is off to Hunter Mahon.  Congratulations for a well played tournament!


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