The final 4 will play the final 2 rounds of the Match Play Chapmionship today at Dove Mountain and the way the brackets have worked themselves out, we’re guaranteed a Ryder-esque showdown between one of Europe’s best against a player representing U-S-A.
Yesterday, 2 European #1 seeds, a solid and steady #10 seed, and a #6 seed with a new putter stormed into the semi-finals. I had McIlroy winning the whole tournament from the beginning, but only had Mark Wilson’s win correct in the last round besides Rory. The 2-2 split kept my record going of getting exactly half of each round correct. I went 16-16, 8-8, 4-4, and 2-2 with all my picks. I won’t let my tournament end on “even par” though. I’ll pick the championship to break any final ties. McIlroy’s been my guy so he’s my first choice. If he’s out I’d take Mahan over Westwood but Westwood over Wilson.
Here’s what I think will happen in the semi’s.
9:05-Hunter Mahan over Mark Wilson: Wilson defeated Swede Peter Hanson to get into the semifinals as the only double-digit seed remaining. He’s gotten there with relative ease never having even played the final hole in any of his matches. Mahan needed extra holes in round 1 to get past Zach Johnson, but a new putter and his affinity for match play have carried Hunter to blowout victories in his last couple rounds. Mahan’s the far more explosive golfer, but Wilson’s steady approach has carried him so far. I think his “Cinderella” story ends here as Mahan makes the finals.
9:20-Rory McIlroy over Lee Westwood: Allegedly, Rory called this matchup pre-tournament and is looking forward to staring down Westwood with the winner getting the opportunity to not only take the title, but claim the #1 world ranking from defending-champ (and long-gone) Luke Donald. I picked Rory at the beginning of the tournament to be the champ. Although he has struggled on specific holes and sprayed some shots off the tee especially, I’m sticking with him to take out the in-form Westwood and then beat Hunter for the his first victory here in the desert as he adds the Match Play Championship to his ever-growing list of accomplishments and would become the youngest WGC event winner at only 22.