Marana, AZ (Sports Network) - Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan won their semifinal
matches on Sunday to advance to the final at the World Golf Championship -
Accenture Match Play Championship.
Kuchar, the sixth seed from the Ben Hogan Bracket, beat Jason Day, 4 & 3. Day
came out of the Bobby Jones Bracket as the 11th seed. Day hadn't advanced past
the third round prior to this year.
Mahan, the defending champion and sixth seed from the Gary Player Bracket,
cruised to a 4 & 3 win over 2010 winner Ian Poulter at The Golf Club at Dove
Kuchar, a semifinalist in 2011, bogeyed the second to fall 1-down, but only
lost one hole the rest of the way. He got up and down for par at the fourth to
square the match, then sank a 10-footer for birdie at No. 6 to go 1-up.
At the eighth, Kuchar saved par from left of the green, while Day's second got
a bad bounce and ran over the green. He chipped back into the fairway in front
of the green, and missed his next chip to drop 2-down.
Kuchar 2-putted for par at the ninth to go 3-up. Kuchar made a mess of the
10th and conceded Day's par try. Day struggled down the 13th and conceded
Kuchar's short par putt to slide 3-down.
After matching pars at the 14th, Kuchar rolled in a 7-foot birdie putt at the
15th to close out the match.
"My strategy is playing the golf course first. I've got to put it in the
fairway, and I did a good job of that this morning," Kuchar said in a TV
interview. "I hit a lot of fairways to put some pressure on Jason. The wind
started to pick up and made things challenging."
Mahan got up and down for birdie on the par-5 second to grab the lead. Poulter
squared the match with a 2-putt par at the fourth, but that was the only hole
he won on the day.
The reigning champ saved par on the fifth to regain a 1-up lead. Mahan chipped
inside two feet at the eighth and was conceded birdie. Poulter's birdie try
slid by the left edge and he was 2-down.
The duo halved three in a row before Mahan's tee ball sailed over the green at
the 12th. After getting a drop from a grandstand, Mahan chipped in for birdie.
Poulter's long birdie putt came up well short and he was now 3-down.
"Obviously, that was huge. Tough hole today, straight downwind. There's no way
to get close to that pin," Mahan said of the 12th. "Ian hit a good shot to hit
the green. I hit a great chip and it just fell right in."
Mahan was conceded par at the 14th, then Poulter missed his 5-footer for par.
The pair both drove just short of the 15th and chipped inside six feet.
Poulter, the three seed from the Sam Snead Bracket, made his birdie putt, and
Mahan rolled his in as well to close out the match.
"It was trickier today than it had been the last few days. I think Hunter
never gave me too many opportunities to get in there," Poulter said. "I'm a
little disappointed I didn't press him a little harder."
NOTES: This is the first all American final since 2008 ... With two Americans
in the final match, that means Americans will continue their streak of winning
every PGA Tour event this season.
The Sports Network