by Alan Davis
Sunday’s Final match of the Accenture Match Play tournament had enough excitement to make even the greatest golf haters want to rush out into garage, blow the dust off grandfather's clubs and hit the driving range.
The heavy weight match that stared young guns Jason Day and Victor Dubuisson had enough miraculous shots that the grass covering Bobby Jones grave has probably grown 6 feet since Sunday. The final 7 holes alone were so impressive that golf legend Gary Player (A 9-time major winner) tweeted, “Not sure I can recall anything like this in 60 years as a pro. Player’s correct, this match seemed to take slices from the movies 300, Gladiator, Star Wars and Bruce Almighty and smash them all together to provide a spectacle of golf round. Yeah, it was that good.
Just to catch your interest, check out this amazing shot by Day on the 11th hole.
The greater part of the day featured Day’s dominant performance. The 26 year-old Aussie spent the majority of the round beating up on his younger counter part. He led by as many as three holes on to the 13th, and by 2 holes through the 16th. To all eyes, this round seemed to be over. Even Nick Faldo, (a former 6 time major winner and now CBS commentator) declared Day the winner of event prematurely, twice.
Standing on the 17th tee box, Dubuisson needed to win out the remaining 2 holes to force a sudden death over time. His drive would splash into the deep sandy bunker, leaving him 177 yards from the hole. Day’s drive landed in the fair way. Check out Dubuisson’s 2nd and 3rd shot.
Congrats Dubuisson, you now are the third member to join the I'm-the-best-at-shooting-bunkers-shots club (the other two members are Tiger and Jesus.) Dubuisson would go on to win the hole.
Maybe Dubuisson got tired of hearing Faldo count him out, maybe he changed something in his swing, or maybe he pulled out his bottle of magic faerie dust, whatever the reason, something changed in Dubuisson's game after that bunker shot.
Two shots later, Dubuisson would find himself in the bunker, again. Someone spent their childhood making sandcastles.
The 23 year-old Frenchmen would go on to win the 18th hole, force sudden death overtime with day, 4 times in a row. For those who don’t know: Deciding the winner of a PGA Tour sudden death is easy to understand. The first golfer to shoot a lower score than the opponent wins the tournament. However as Day and Dubuisson showed on Sunday, sometimes it takes a while for the winner to be decided.
One would think that after the tension of the 17th and 18th holes, Dubuisson would want to stay away from the making mud castles in the dirt and try to play in the green fairway. Let’s just say that Dubuisson really likes getting dirty. After a muffed drive on the 19th hole, his ball would nestle in a cactus, thistles and everything. Look at this amazing save.
Now look at his save on the 20th. When interviewed after the tournament, Day talked about his mental health, not surprising.
These shots came on back-to-back holes.
Momentum swung back and forth throughout the 23-hole Accenture Match Play finale eventually ending with Dubuisson final 20-foot putt just slipping away from him, leaving Day with a 2-foot putt that would eventually slam the door shut. The whirlwind of a tournament would tie for the second longest match play round in PGA history and would last over well over the standard 4-hour time limit. And although Day walked away as the champion, all eyes are now on Dubuisson.
Who makes his Masters debut this April.