McIlroy, Mahan squaring off in Match Play finale
- By Rex Hoggard
- Feb 26, 2012 1:22 PM ET
MARANA, Ariz. – World No. 2 Rory McIlroy will face Hunter Mahan in Sunday’s 18-hole championship match, setting up a showdown between two of the week’s most consistent performs and the game’s best ballstrikers.
Mahan grabbed an early lead against Mark Wilson and never trailed on his way to a 2-and-1 victory, while McIlroy spotted Lee Westwood a 3-up lead through four holes but battled back for a 3-and-1 victory.
“I just tried to be patient and chip away at him,” said McIlroy, who played his last 15 holes in 7 under. “To go 3 down against a player like Lee is tough.”
McIlroy will be playing for his first World Golf Championship title as well as the world’s top ranking, which he can take with a victory Sunday afternoon.
The two finalist faced each in the second round at the 2009 WGC-Match Play with the Ulsterman winning that meeting, 1 up, but the American has been dominant this week having not been pushed past the 17th hole since his opening match on Wednesday.
“It’s a long, brutal week. You have to beat five really good players to get here and now I have to beat one more incredible player to win,” Mahan said.
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