Sunday, 27 March 2016
Semi-Final Highlights - WGC - Dell Match Play

Louis Oosthuizen will go in search of a first World Golf Championships title on Sunday afternoon after he beat Rafa Cabrera Bello 4 and 3 to reach the final of the WGC-Dell Match Play.

The South African has a 100 per cent record so far this week and beat top ten players Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson on Saturday before ending Cabrera Bello's brilliant run at Austin Country Club.

The Spaniard came into the tournament as 52nd seed and, while he will not be lifting the trophy this week, his performance has earned him a place at the Masters Tournament in April.

Oosthuizen could move into the top ten in the Official World Golf Ranking should he become the first South African to win the WGC-Dell Match Play and would claim his second European Tour triumph of the season after his victory at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

To do that he must beat Jason Day, who overcame Rory McIlroy by one hole in the other, thrilling semi-final.

I'm proud of the way I'm doing so far, feeling great. Body feels good, so I'm looking forward to this afternoon - Louis Oosthuizen

"I didn't do anything spectacular. I lost a bit of focus on eight and nine. I made stupid mistakes. Other than that I felt I hit a lot of greens, giving myself opportunities for birdies.

"It's going to be a tough match. I need to play well. He's not going to give me any holes. I need to go out and make birdies. Up to now I could get away with pars and winning holes, but I need to make birdies."

An 18-footer on the first moved Oosthuizen ahead before three shared pars, and a par on the fifth was enough to move him two up as both men failed to find the green in regulation.

Cabrera Bello recorded a double-bogey on the seventh after going from one side of the green to the other with his second shot to give Oosthuizen a three hole advantage but the 31 year old clawed one back on the next as the 2010 Open Championship winner came up short with his second shot.

Oosthuizen was forced to take a drop after a ragged second shot on the ninth to reduce the gap to one but he reopened a two hole cushion with the help of a pitch to six feet on the tenth.

A par was enough to win the 14th after some more brilliant iron play left a tap-in and victory was sealed with another four on the next.

The match between McIlroy and Day was a clash between the previous two winners of this event, with McIlroy the defending champion and Day having beaten Victor Dubuisson after 23 holes in the final in 2014.

The clash was as tight as would be expected, but Day prevailed thanks to some stunning short play on the back nine which made it difficult for McIlroy to apply pressure on the US PGA Championship winner.

Day got inside McIlroy's ball on the first and sank a 25-footer to move one up but a wayward second shot on the second resulted in a double-bogey and McIlroy made a birdie to level the match.

The Northern Irishman made the green in two on the par five sixth to register a birdie and move ahead, but he missed the green on the par three next and the tie was all square once again.

McIlroy then put his approach on the eighth to ten feet for another birdie and took a one hole lead at the turn.

Day hit back again with an approach to seven feet bringing a birdie on the tenth and, after a brilliant par save courtesy of a flop shot on the next, he hit the 12th green in two for a birdie and a one hole lead.

A brilliant chip brought a tap-in birdie on the 13th and all of a sudden, Day was in the ascendency.

McIlroy made a clutch 12-footer on the next to reduce the gap but Day never left himself more than three feet for par on the 15th, 16th and 17th and made a 13-footer on the last to seal victory.

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