The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 24, 2014

Day survives the magic of Dubuisson in Match Play

MARANA, Ariz. — Jason Day never stopped believing he would win the Match Play Championship, even in the midst of so many shots by Victor Dubuisson that simply defied belief.

With his ball at the base of a cactus, Dubuisson took an all-or-nothing swing though the sharp needles and a TV cable and incredibly hit it to 4 feet to save par. Seemingly out of it on the next playoff hole, the 23-year-old Frenchman somehow whacked a wedge through a desert bush and rocks and onto the green for another par.

Day finally ended the madness Sunday on the 23rd hole with a pitch to 4 feet on No. 15 for birdie.

Mon dieu!

It was the first time the championship match went overtime since the inaugural year in 1999 at La Costa, when Jeff Maggert chipped on the second extra hole of a 36-hole final. That was like watching paint dry compared to the show Dubuisson put on.

Day, with his first World Golf Championship, walked away with his second PGA Tour title that will take the Australian to No. 4 in the world.

This tournament might better be remembered for Dubuisson’s magical escapes.

“Vic, man, he has a lot of guts,” Day said. “He has a great short game — straight out of the cactus twice. For a 23-year-old kid, he’s got a lot of game. We’re going to see a lot of him for years to come.”

Even the great Seve Ballesteros would have saluted this performance.

Two holes down with two holes to play, Dubuisson rapped in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and then took advantage of a rare lapse by Day, who bogeyed the 18th hole with a three-putt from 50 feet on the upper tier. The Frenchman saved par from the bunker to force extra holes.

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