Grading the Match Play Championship

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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.

"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:

A Jason Day is probably going to move into the top five in the world with his win. Elite.
A Rickie Fowler had a week he very much needed since he started his swing tweaks with new coach Butch Harmon. He finished third and looked very much like a golfer poised for PGA Tour victory No. 2
B Jordan Spieth continues his impressive career arc with a T5 finish in his first WGC-Match Play Championship event. Still, has to be disappointed that he was 2 over in his final match with Ernie Els. Never put any pressure on Big Easy.
B Graeme McDowell's first three days consisted of 58 holes, zero of which he led. He won all of his first three matches on the final hole, two of them in extra holes. It was as incredible as it sounds.
C Sergio Garcia didn't even advance to the quarterfinals but he was the talk of the tournament over the first few days for his bizarre 17-foot putt concession to Rickie Fowler. Strange tournament but the Spaniard is in good form.
C Matt Kuchar couldn't get past Jordan Spieth but he moved his career Match Play Championship record to 17-4. Spectacular.
D Rory McIlroy had a disappointing week, especially considering he was the favorite. No shame in a loss to Harris English but you know he thought he was going deeper into the tournament.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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