Grading the Match Play Championship
Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth played prominent roles in a fun week of match play.
Jason Day (finally) got his second PGA Tour victory on Sunday at the Match Play Championship.
It took a long time (both in his career and on the day) but Day was terrific all week in one of the most mentally taxing tournaments of the season.
To get to Sunday, Day beat Thorbjorn Olesen, Billy Horschel, George Coetzee, Louis Oozthuizen and Rickie Fowler before a 23-hole struggle with Victor Dubuisson for the win.
Even then Day nearly got the win taken from him.
He led by two with two to play and went par-bogey on the final two holes while Dubuisson hit clutch shot after clutch shot to tie it up and send it to extra holes.
And that's when Dubuisson just got silly. He chipped out of the jumping cholla cactus twice to under 10 feet. Shots that inspired Gary Player (among others) to tweet about how crazy good Dubuisson played.
But in the end this was about how locked in Day was all week. Day didn't win a hole from the ninth to the 23rd on Sunday and it would have been easy to fold with the shots Dubuisson was hitting but Day kept grinding.
He now holds the all-time winning percentage record at the Match Play Championship.
Jason Day: 14-3 career record at #WGCMatchPlay - best career win percentage (.824) for anyone with 10+ victories.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) February 24, 2014
"It was a long day in the sun," Day said to CBS' Peter Kostis. "I didn't want it to go this long but he has a lot of guts. He has a lot of game."
He (Dubuisson) definitely did.
But this could be the win Day was looking for to send his career to the next level. His only other victory was at the 2010 Byron Nelson, a fine tournament but not on the World Golf Championship level.
Day told Kostis this is huge for his confidence.
"Just to know that you can dig down and keep fighting that's what it's all about," Day said.
Our grades for the Match Play Championship:
The new rules are great, but they ultimately might not be enough
Pros have everything they need at the tips of their fingers for every tournament on tour
Is Bedminster about to be overrun with the president's security detail?
After what happened at the ANA Inspiration last month, legislation will surely follow
She is probably most-accomplished teenage golfer of all time
Just a couple of legends out for a quick nine over the weekend