Sunday, 24 February 2013
Matt Kuchar   (Getty Images)
Matt Kuchar (Getty Images)

Revenge was sweet for Matt Kuchar when he beat defending champion Hunter Mahan to win the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship title in cold and windy Arizona.

Crushed 6 and 5 by his fellow American in last year's quarter-finals, Kuchar captured his first World Golf Championships by a 2 and 1 margin.

England's Ian Poulter, meanwhile, had to settle for fourth place, but is at least back in the Official World Golf Ranking's top ten for the first time in 25 months.

Europe's Ryder Cup missed out on winning the trophy for the second time in four years after losing 4 and 3 to Mahan in the semi-finals, then went down to a last-green defeat at the hands of Australian Jason Day.

Mahan had not trailed all week until he bogeyed the fourth hole of the final, but by the turn was four down.

Kuchar lost the tenth and 11th before holing what appeared a crucial 12 foot birdie putt at the next after Mahan had fired in his tee shot to four feet. It was halved in two.

Kuchar also birdied the long 13th, only for Mahan to strike back in kind on the next.

They shared the driveable 15th in birdies, but Kuchar fired his tee shot to the short 16th into the grandstand and was only one up.

Both bunkered their drives off the next, but Mahan found much the worse lie and could not recover.

Earlier, Kuchar beat Day 4 and 3 despite having a double bogey and three bogeys.

There were also three birdies and that was good enough with Day, on his own admission drained from his earlier efforts, an approximate six over par when they shook hands.

Three up by the turn, Kuchar had his double on the tenth after hooking his drive into an unplayable lie in the desert scrub, but was not made to pay for another dropped shot at the 12th and Day then took seven on the 583 yard next.

Kuchar, a semi-finalist in 2011, said: "The wind picked up and made things really challenging - pars are good scores."

Day even talked about going off for a sleep after his quarter-final defeat and commented: "I just wasn't as sharp.

"I came out a little flat and made a lot of mental errors. I pretty much gave him the game."

Kuchar said: "What an incredible feeling to be standing here after six matches. When these dreams come true it's a special feeling.

"I was trying to do the same that Hunter did to me, but he played some great golf coming in and has a lot to be proud of."

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Pos Player nameNatHolePar
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-FUJITA, HiroyukiJPN-
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