Not only Accenture title at stake
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 Accenture Match Play Championship | Day Four | 26 Feb 2012
In today’s quarter finals at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana in Arizona, Rory McIlory and Lee Westwood have advanced to the semi finals and will be joined by Hunter Mahan and Mark Wilson.
Mahan and Wilson will face off in the opening semi tomorrow morning followed 15 minutes later by the Westwood and McIlory match.
McIlory took a long while to shake of the determined Korean Sang Moon Bae in today’s quarter final before winning 3&2.
Westwood was behind early in his match against Scot, Martin Laird, but by the 7th he had edged ahead and kept building on that lead before winning 4&3.
Mahan was never threatened in a one sided match against Matt Kuchar, winning 6&5.
Wilson had a battle on his hands early against Sweden’s Peter Hanson, the match all square at the turn before the recent Humana Challenge winner drew clear to win 4&3.
Tournament organisers are therefore guaranteed to have one of the world’s top three through to the final and the prospect of a battle for the World Number One position up for grabs in the final.
The semi final between Westwood and McIlory tomorrow has an added dimension as both have a chance to go on and displace Luke Donald as World Number one should they win the overall championship tomorrow afternoon.
“It’ll be exciting, won’t it?” said Westwood. “The seeds have worked out or they should work out. We’re both No.1 seeds. That’s how it should be in the semifinals. One of us will have a chance to get to the final and win the tournament. That’s my main priority to go out tomorrow morning and play well.
“My priorities this week were to win major championships and win World Golf Championships because I haven’t ever won any. You want to win the big tournaments where the best players are playing. And I’ve given myself a great chance early in the year to do that.
“I’ve been at No.1 a couple of times. It would be a different way of thinking to me compared to Rory who hasn’t been No.1. He may be thinking about it, but my main goal is to play well or play as well as I’ve been playing tomorrow morning and try and win that match.
“This is one of those weeks where you can break it all down into it’s a boring adage, and old adage, one shot at a time, one hole at a time, but it’s more applicable in this format.”
McIlory expressed similar sentiments. “Walking around the locker room I said I’ll see you on the first tee tomorrow morning, commented McIlory after his match today. “Yeah, I think it’s the match that most people wanted and definitely the match that I wanted. And I’m excited about tomorrow. It should be a lot of fun and very exciting for everyone involved.
“All I need to do is focus on the match tomorrow morning, and then I think the biggest task for both of us, me and Lee, is obviously getting yourself so much up for the semifinal, you know, going through to the final.
“You have to get yourself up for that again. So that will be the tough task because obviously both of us feel you’ve got to get past each other for Lee to get back to No.1 and me to get there for the first time.
You have to put your all into that and then whoever wins tomorrow morning, you get yourself back up again to go back out tomorrow afternoon and win the whole thing.”
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