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Matt Kuchar Beats Hunter Mahan To Clinch WGC Match Play Crown
Matt Kuchar derailed Hunter Mahan's bid to win back-to-back titles at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship with a 2&1 victory at a bitterly cold Dove Mountain on Sunday.
Mahan entered the final in imperious form having never been behind in a match since the opening round last year as he beat Poulter in the last four.
Having looked in excellent form in the first three days of competition Poulter suffered a day to forget as the cold desert wind played havoc with his game. The 37-year-old's prowess in match play and the lack of other top-20 players in the semi-finals, meant many had earmarked him to take a second WGC Match Play crown, his first coming in 2010. The Englishman’s fourth place finish was enough to shoot him back into the world's top 10.
After eliminating Poulter Mahan couldn’t keep his run going as Kuchar edged one up on the fourth. Kuchar raced into a formidable lead to go four up after nine holes but saw his lead reduced to two after 12 and then just one after 16.
Kuchar managed to fend off a Mahan resurgence after the turn before sealing the win at the par-four 17th where his opponent took four shots to reach the green.
The 34-year-old American’s triumph caps an eventful week that began with a snow delay on Wednesday and both finalists in balaclavas on Sunday surviving 30 mph chilly desert winds.
Despite the low temperatures the sun still shone in Arizona as a beaming Kuchar told reporters "I'm not sure I can explain how excited I am to have won this tournament," as he sat next to the cherished Walter Hagen Cup after earning the winner's cheque for $1.5 million.