Hunter Mahan Wins Accenture Match Play Championship McIlroy Runner Up

by PGA Tour

mahanWith his 2 and 1 victory in the Championship Match, Hunter Mahan becomes the first American to win the Accenture Match Play Championship since Tiger Woods in 2008 and the sixth different American to win the event. He becomes the lowest ranked (in the OWGR) American (No. 22) to win the Accenture Match Play Championship since Kevin Sutherland (No. 65) in 2002. Overall he is the lowest ranked player to win the Accenture Match Play Championship since Geoff Ogilvy (No. 53) in 2006.

Where United States Accenture Match Play Championship winners were in the OWGR the week they won.

2008 Tiger Woods No. 1
2005 David Toms No. 16
2004 Tiger Woods No. 1
2003 Tiger Woods No. 1
2002 Kevin Sutherland No. 65
2001 Steve Stricker No. 91
1999 Jeff Maggert No. 25

Mahan becomes the third winner of the Accenture Match Play Championship in the last four years to win his first-round match in 19 holes (Poulter – 2010, Ogilvy – 2009). Four of the last five winners (Woods – 2008, 20 holes in the quarterfinals) of the Accenture Match Play Championship have been extended to extra holes in at least one match.

Mahan’s path to the Championship Match:
• Round 1 – 19 holes over Zach Johnson (USA)
• Round 2 – 5 and 3 over Y.E. Yang (KOR)
• Round 3 – 4 and 3 over Steve Stricker (USA)
• Quarterfinals – 6 and 5 over Matt Kuchar (USA)
• Semifinals – 2 and 1 over Mark Wilson (USA)
• Finals – 2 and 1 over Rory McIlroy (NIR)

Mahan’s Accenture Match Play Championship victory is his second top 10 of the 2012 PGA TOUR season (T6 – Farmers Insurance Open) and comes with 550 FedExCup points. He is projected to move to No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking, which would be the highest ranking of his career.

The victory is Mahan’s first on the PGA TOUR since he claimed the 2010 Bridgestone Invitational, a span of 34 starts on TOUR.

Mahan earns his fourth-career PGA TOUR victory and second in the state of Arizona (2010 Waste Management Phoenix Open) at the age of 29 years, 9 months and 9 days. His four career wins are the second-most by players currently in their 20s. Here’s the list of players with three or more wins: Dustin Johnson (5), Hunter Mahan (4), Bill Haas (4), Sean O’Hair (4), Camilo Villegas (3) and Anthony Kim (3).

Mahan’s 2 and 1 victory marks the 10th consecutive year the Championship Match has not reached No. 18. The last Championship Match to reach No. 18 was 2002 when Kevin Sutherland defeated Scott McCarron, 1 up.

Mahan defeated players from only three countries (USA, KOR, NIR) en route to winning the Accenture Match Play Championship. The fewest countries defeated by an eventual champion was two by Kevin Sutherland (2002) and Darren Clarke (2000).

Mahan’s victory comes in his fifth appearance at the Accenture Match Play Championship and 16th appearance in a World Golf Championships event. Coupled with his victory at the 2010 Bridgestone Invitational, Mahan joins Tiger Woods ((Accenture Match Play Championship – 2003, 2004; Cadillac – 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005; Bridgestone – 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005) as the only players to capture multiple World Golf Championships titles while in their 20s.

Mahan also joins a group of only five players with Multiple World Golf Championships victories. They are:

Tiger Woods (16)
Accenture Match Play Championship – 2003, 2004, 2008
Cadillac Championship – 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007
Bridgestone Invitational – 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

Geoff Ogilvy (3)
Accenture Match Play Championship – 2006, 2009
Cadillac Championship — 2008

Darren Clarke (2)
Accenture Match Play Championship – 2000
Bridgestone Invitational – 2003

Ernie Els (2)
Cadillac Championship – 2004, 2010

Phil Mickelson (2)
Cadillac Championship – 2009
HSBC Champions – 2009

Mahan and Phil Mickelson (2010 Cadillac Championship, HSBC Champions) are the only Americans with multiple World Golf Championships victories other than Tiger Woods (16).

Mahan joins Luke Donald (2011), Ian Poulter (2010), Henrik Stenson (2007) Kevin Sutherland (2002), Steve Stricker (2001) and Darren Clarke (2000) as players to win the Accenture Match Play Championship in their first appearance in the finals (does not include 1999).

With the 2 and 1 victory, Mahan evens his record at the Accenture Match Play Championship versus McIlroy at 1-1. The two faced in the second round in 2009 with McIlroy winning, 1 up.

Mahan’s victory marks the first time Americans have won the first eight events on the PGA TOUR schedule since 2001, when Robert Allenby won the Northern Trust Open in the ninth event of the year. Prior to 2001, the last time Americans won the first eight events of the year was in 1991 when they won the first 12 before Ian Woosnam claimed the USF&G Classic (Zurich Classic of New Orleans).

After being 1 down to Zach Johnson through six holes in the first round, Mahan did not trail again in any of his remaining matches a span of 90 holes. Mahan defeated Johnson in 19 holes and was only extended to No. 17 twice during the course of his final five matches (2 and 1 victory over Mark Wilson, Semifinals; 2 and 1 victory over Rory McIlroy, Finals).

Mahan continued his birdie barrage at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, over his last five matches, adding seven more birdies in his Championship Match victory over Rory McIlroy. Mahan seven birdies in his round-two victory over Y.E. Yang (15 holes); nine birdies against Steve Stricker (15 holes); four birdies against Kuchar (13 holes) and five birdies in the semifinals versus Wilson. He made only three in his first-round victory over Zach Johnson and led the field with 35 birdies this week, the most of any player (Westwood – 24, McIlroy – 22, Wilson – 18).

McIlroy’s path to Second
• Round 1 – 2 up over George Coetzee (ZAF)
• Round 2 – 3 and 2 over Anders Hansen (DEN)
• Round 3 – 3 and 1 over Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP)
• Quarterfinal – 3 and 2 over Sang-Moon Bae (KOR)
• Semifinal – 3 and 1 over Lee Westwood (ENG)
• Finals – 2 and 1 loss to Hunter Mahan (USA)

Despite the loss in today’s Championship Match, McIlroy has compiled an impressive resume in his last seven World Golf Championships starts, recording six top 10s.

Last seven World Golf Championships Starts:
2010 Bridgestone Invitational T9
2010 HSBC Champions 5th
2011 Accenture Match Play Championship T17
2011 Cadillac Championship T10
2011 Bridgestone Invitational T6
2011 HSBC Champions T4
2012 Accenture Match Play Championship 2nd

McIlroy’s runner-up effort at the Accenture Match Play Championship is his best result in 13 World Golf Championships appearances, bettering a 4th at the 2009 HSBC Champions and a T4 at the 2010 HSBC Champions. His previous best result at the Accenture Match Play Championship was a T5 in 2009.

McIlroy becomes just the fourth different No.1 seed to advance to the Championship Match in the 14-year history of the Accenture Match Play Championship, joining Tiger Woods (2000, 2003, 2004, 2008), Davis Love III (2004) and Martin Kaymer (2011).

The Accenture Match Play Championship marked McIlroy’s first start on the PGA TOUR in 2012 and he earns 315 FedExCup points with his runner-up finish. He is in the field next week at The Honda Classic.

Consolation Match Notes

Mark Wilson’s path to third
• Round 1 – 3 and 2 over Bo Van Pelt (USA)
• Round 2 – 3 and 2 over Robert Rock (ENG)
• Round 3 – 4 and 3 over Dustin Johnson (USA)
• Quarterfinals – 4 and 3 over Peter Hanson (SWE)
• Semifinals – 2 and 1 loss to Hunter Mahan (USA)
• Consolation – 1 up over Lee Westwood (ENG)

With his victory in the Consolation Match, Mark Wilson earns his career-best finish in a World Golf Championships event in his seventh start, surpassing T17 efforts at the 2011 Accenture Match Play Championship and Bridgestone Invitational. In his first appearance in the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2011, Wilson defeated Dustin Johnson in the first round (19 holes) before losing to Bubba Watson in the second round, 6 and 5).

Wilson’s 3rd is his second top 5 of the 2012 PGA TOUR season following a victory at the Humana Challenge last month. Wilson’s three victories since the start of the 2011 season are tied with Steve Stricker for the most on TOUR during that stretch. He earns 200 FedExCup points this week with his solo 3rd.

Lee Westwood’s path to fourth
• Round 1 – 3 and 1 over Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL)
• Round 2 – 3 and 2 over Robert Karlsson (SWE)
• Round 3 – 3 and 2 over Nick Watney (USA)
• Quarterfinals – 4 and 2 over Martin Laird (SCO)
• Semifinals – 3 and 1 loss to Rory McIlroy (NIR)
• Consolation – Lost 1 down to Mark Wilson (USA)

Despite falling to American Mark Wilson in the Consolation Match, England’s Lee Westwood’s 4th is his best result in 12 career appearances at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Prior to this year, Westwood had never advanced beyond the second round.

Westwood now has nine top 10s in 38-career World Golf Championships starts, including five top fives.

Westwood’s best results in World Golf Championships events
2000 Cadillac Championship 2nd
2008 Bridgestone Invitational T2
2010 HSBC Champions T2
2012 Accenture Match Play Championship 4th
1999 Cadillac Championship T4

The solo 4th this week is Westwood’s best result on the PGA TOUR since a T3 at the 2011 U.S. Open. A PGA TOUR member in 2012, Westwood earns 140 FedExCup points this week.

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