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Mahan Stops Rory’s Rise

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy had his sights set on the top spot in the golf world. That will have to wait. A great run by the USA’s Hunter Mahan culminating with a 2 and 1 victory over the young gun slinger McIlroy put a hold on his hope to land at the top spot in all the world.

A match that got a little dull in the middle picked up some steam when McIlroy birdied from 7  feet to cut a seemingly insurmountable 3 hole deficit to 2 and was looking to make a charge. Mahan, however, ended the 22-year-old’s momentum with an up and down on 15 that ended the drama for the most part. Mahan hadn’t faced pressure like that since the last Ryder cup when he duffed a chip in his decisive match against Graeme McDowell. NBC made sure to show a clip of the flub right after Mahan’s lead was sliced to 2 and McIlroy blasted his drive onto the green on the short par 4 15th hole. Instead of chipping Mahan used the old Texas wedge, a putt that left a tap in birdie and for the most part the title.

Mahan is only the second American to win in the last 7 years in the Accenture match play championships outside Tucson, AZ. Tiger is the other. With the victory Mahan moves up to the number 9 spot while Luke Donald retains his top spot in all of golf.

I did like changing the format so the semi finals and finals are on the last day. It used to be the two finalists played 36 holes to decide the champ on Sunday. Talk about tedious.

Mahan played great all week  beating in succession Zach Johnson,Y.E. Yang, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Chris Wilson (he finished 3rd beating Lee Westwood for that spot) and then McIlroy to win the title.

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