Jason Day won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship after managing to keep a calm head during an incredible fight back from Frenchman Victor Dubuisson. Day was ahead by three shots after 12 holes but Dubuisson pulled off two excellent birdies and then capitalized on a Day error on the 18th.
The tournament was Day’s to lose and it seemed like he might just lose it when a combination of skill and luck helped Dubuisson pull off some truly unbelievable shots. Dubuisson twice saved par by hitting the ball through a series of native cacti and some non-native television cables. The path may as well have been clear though as the shots were as perfect as you could hope for. Jason Day merely laughed and took it in his stride. It was this calm and collected attitude that saw him win after 23 grueling holes.
Jason Day has moved into the No.4 position on the PGA table after this his first World Match Play win and his second PGA Tour title.
The tournament is a knockout five day, six match tournament that begins on a Wednesday. Prize money is official on the PGA Tour and this year totaled more than $8 million; Day taking home $1.53 million and Dubuisson earning $906,000.
In the semi finals, Day took out Rickie Fowler and Dubuisson beat Ernie Els. Third place was taken by Fowler in 19 holes.
The second place victory will see Dubuisson rise considerably in the rankings and should see him with a spot on the Ryder Cup team in September.
This week, the PGA tour stops off at Riviera for it’s latest installment. The tournament takes place at Riviera Country Club. The Club is located in Pacific Palisades, California, a community within the city limits of Los Angeles and is home to a particularly picturesque course. The club is sandwiched between the bustling city and the beautiful beaches and is a great image of what it means to be Californian.
The tournament, previously sponsored by Nissan is not known as the Northern Trust Open. The tournament has seen some changes in recent years but it dates back in one form or another to 1926. It is played annually and has been sponsored by Northern Trust since 2008. The tournament remains a firm favorite among fans.
Californian Rickie Fowler is taking part in the tournament and is every bit the perfect example of California that the tournament itself is. Fowler was born and raised in Murrieta, California located just outside of Los Angeles in the Riverside County. Fowler is young, stylish, almost entirely self-taught and making waves on the PGA Tour.
Zach Johnson picked up his 11th win on the PGA Tour on Monday when he scored a 66 to win the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on a Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii. Johnson finished the tournament with a one shot lead over Jordan Spieth, who led entering the final round. The win was Johnson’s third from his last six starts.
In December last year, Johnson also won the World Challenge in California. He finished that tournament ahead of Tiger Woods who, as discussed in a previous blog post, was one of the giants of 2013.
The real giant killing is not in the opposition that Johnson slays but in the way he beats his opponents. Perhaps the most interesting part of Johnson’s recent winning form is that rather than being a big hitter off the tee or in the fairways, it has been his shortest clubs that have been working the hardest for him. This was particularly surprising given the length of the fairways in Kapalua. Johnson was not driving the farthest but his tactics and accuracy when using wedges more than made up for this. The wind at Kapalua did benefit Johnson on a couple of the longer holes but it was his wedge that was in control of adjusting his sails.
2013 will be remembered as the year that saw Tiger Woods finally return to form after news of his infidelity broke in late 2009. His first win on the PGA Tour came in January 2013 at the Farmers Insurance Open. This was the seventh time Woods has taken the honors at the Open and the first since 2008.
After winning the Arnold Palmer invitational for an eighth time, Woods continued to quickly amass wins in the early part of the year. He moved back to the top of the world rankings. His season stalled somewhat when an elbow injury required that Woods take a break from the game. Though wins dried up in this period, it is worth noting that for the first time in a while, a physical problem rather than an issue with his mindset caused the interruption in his game.
Following an exciting climax to this year’s Major’s series, Jordan Spieth managed to oust his rival, Rory McIlroy from the top spot in the men’s PGA world rankings. However, his stay at the top has been relatively short lived. When the world rankings are officially recalculated on Monday (31st August), Spieth is expected to lose out on his top spot allowing McIlroy back into first place, despite the fact that McIlroy didn’t even pick up a club competitively this weekend.
The Barclays, which is taking place at Plainfield Country Club in Edison New Jersey, is the first tournament that Spieth has taken part in since becoming number one in the world following his second place finish at the US PGA Championship. Whilst most observers were expecting Speith to dominate The Barclay’s tournament, he completely failed to make the cut for the final day’s play. This earned him the unfortunate accolade of being the only player to ever fail to make the final cut in his first tournament after becoming number 1 in the World Rankings.
Once again, Majors season has come to a close with a thrilling finale. This year’s US PGA Championship, which was played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, was won by a man who many had previously thought incapable of succeeding in big game golf. Australia's Jason Day was able to prove his doubters wrong and bag the $1.8 million dollar prize with 4 spectacular rounds of golf that proved that he could bring his A-game when it mattered.
Jason Day's troubles began on the final fairway of the US Open at Chambers Bay, during the second round. Crowds were shocked when the player collapsed on the course and was seemingly unable to stand back up again without assistance. Doctors were quick to point out that his fall was due to non-threatening vertigo, which the player had been experiencing, on-and-off, since 2010. Although he was back on course the following day to play his final round of the tournament, some critics said that his concentration had been broken by the incident, and that the issue could end up hanging over him for the rest of his career. Whilst he played well enough for the remainder of the tournament at Chambers Bay and at St Andrew’s, he looked as though he was lacking a vital component which was required to perform in high pressure scenarios.