The two semifinal matches were played early this morning in the Arizona desert. Hunter Mahan faced Mark Wilson in the battle of two Americans. The other match was between top ranked Englishmen Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. The implications of the later match had very high stakes. Potentially with a win in the final, either of the two players could become the number one ranked golfer in the world. With the tables set and sun still hidden the matches began.
The first group on the tee was Mahan and Wilson. Mark Wilson was the shorter of the two players who heavily relied on accuracy and mitigation of mistakes. He stated that he prefers to let his opponents make mistakes and capitalize rather than attack the course personally. It had worked up until the semifinals. Hunter Mahan had played impeccable golf. While being both long and accurate, his putter was true and he was able to knock in many long shots from twenty plus feet on the green.
Mahan got out to an early lead, but Mark never stopped fighting. He was able to stay competitive throughout the match and take it until the very end. However, ultimately Hunter Mahan's skills were too much for the smaller Wilson. Mahan won the match 2 & 1 and will face off in the finals tomorrow.
The match between Westwood and McIlroy was highly anticipated. Both golfers are incredibly skilled and have done remarkable things in their careers. Surprisingly, Lee had never reached passed the second round of the tournament, yet he found himself in the semifinals. McIlroy has been the favorite all week. He has come alive in recent as of recent and won a major in last year's US Open. It was Westwood to strike first and come out swinging. At one point, Westwood was up three shots to McIlroy. However, Rory showed resolve and claimed all the shots back. He made few mistakes coming down the stretch and was able to scramble when necessary. Westwood had chances but was not able to capitalize. Rory came out victorious 3 & 1 and will face Mahan in the final.
A consolation match will be played later today between Westwood and Wilson. Westwood will be the heavy favorite but Wilson could prove a valiant opponent. The third place round will be exciting and not to miss.
Rory will be the heavy favorite again tomorrow. However, it is Mahan who has played the most solid and consistent golf all week. I expect a close match. May the best man win.
I am an avid fan of the sport of golf. I enjoy being up to date with all the new faces and watching the close matches on a weekly basis.
- Hunter Mahan
- Rory McIlroy
- Mark Wilson
- Lee Westwood