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Sunday, 23 February 2014
Victor Dubuisson   (Getty Images)
Victor Dubuisson (Getty Images)

Victor Dubuisson snatched the last two holes to force a play-off against Jason Day in a thrilling WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship final.

Australian Day was conceded the first two holes of the final as Dubuisson got off to a shaky start before rallying to get back on level terms in the early stages at Dove Mountain.

However, the Frenchman then bogeyed the fifth, sixth and seventh and lost the last two of those holes, before also losing the ninth when his approach from an ideal spot on the fairway was pulled well left of the green.

The 23 year old was entitled to a free drop as a spectator grandstand was blocking his route to the green, but his ball came to rest up against a rock and that prompted another concession and three-hole deficit.

Dubuisson had also been three down after four to the veteran Ernie Els in their semi-final, but the Turkish Airlines Open winner made a crucial par save from 15 feet on the seventh to avoid going further behind and 2012 Open Champion Els then bogeyed the last after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker to send Dubuisson into the final.

The first three holes on the back nine were halved before a birdie from Dubuisson on the 13th reduced his deficit to two holes with five to play.

And it looked like he had a chance to get another hole back on the next, until a rather generous concession of Day's par putt was reciprocated and meant the Australian edged another hole closer to the title.

Day must have thought he had done enough to secure victory when he holed from ten feet on the 15th to match Dubuisson's two-putt birdie on the short par four, but Dubuisson had other ideas.

Despite finding a fairway bunker off the tee on the 17th, the former world amateur number one hit a superb approach to 12 feet and holed the birdie putt to take the match down the 18th.

He again found sand there, but a brave up-and-down sent the pair to a 19th hole.

The contest appeared to be back in Day’s hand when Dubuisson inexplicably flew the green from the middle of the fairway and his ball lodged in a cactus.

But Day could only find a greenside bunker in response and Dubuisson produced a memorable third to three feet as both salvaged par.

Dubuisson looked to be out of it again at the 20th, but produced another miraculous escape act that reduced Day to a giggling bystander as another hole was halved.

Both players missed the green again as the players went back down the tenth, and this time both missed par putts from inside ten feet and so they headed for the 14th.

It was Dubuisson who had a chance to win the 14th, but his 20 foot putt died just to the left of the hole and so they went to the driveable 15th, with impending darkness likely leaving only two or three more holes possible.

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