Donald and Kaymer create history in Arizona

2/26/2011 11:47:17 PM
Luke Donald  (Getty Images)
Luke Donald (Getty Images)

Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer set up a second consecutive all-European final at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and will battle it out in Tucson on Sunday for the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Kaymer’s semi-final win against Bubba Watson sees him overtake Lee Westwood as World Number One, while England’s Donald could become World Number Three if he wins the title.

The 33 year old Englishman  - who would become part of an all-European top four in the Official World Golf Ranking - produced arguably one of his finest days of golf, beating quarter-final opponent Ryan Moore and last-four rival Martin Kuchar en route to the final.

The Ryder Cup star had already impressed with a 5 and 4 win over Moore, before going on get the better of Kuchar 6 and 5.

He was six-up at the turn having birdied all but two of the first nine holes and, after going seven-up on the tenth, could even afford to drop two straight holes before an excellent approach shot on the 13th allowed him to pick up another birdie and take the match.

The score equalled the 6 and 5 win he achieved over Charley Hoffman in the first round.

"It was good," Donald, who only played 27 holes in the day, said.

"I didn't leave anything out there and I was pretty dominant. I was able to keep my opponents at bay.

"On a long day like this it was nice to get done early in both matches.

"I didn't know I could go to number three in the world, but that would be amazing. I've been playing consistently, but it's been a while since I've won over here (in America)."

Kuchar added of his opponent's performance: "There's no escaping Luke Donald. I played decent golf but he just tore me up."

Earlier in the day, Kuchar overcame Y E Yang 2 and 1, knocking out Graeme McDowell's conqueror in the process.

He had led by four at the turn but, after Yang dug in to win on the tenth and 13th holes, Kuchar held his nerve to chip onto the 17th green and then putt from three feet to win the match.

Kaymer will face Donald in the final after finally emerging as victor in a see-saw clash with Bubba Watson.

Watson had earlier come from five down to beat JB Holmes in a play-off at the quarter-final stage but he gave himself too much to do in a scrappy last-four encounter.

The pair were all square through 12 before Kaymer went one up at the 13th.

Watson hit back as his opponent could only bogey the 14th, but the American was then crucially inaccurate with his tee shots at the 15th and 16th, allowing a birdie and a par to put Kaymer two up with two to play.

Watson then produced a brilliant birdie three at the 17th to keep the tie alive, but Kaymer held his nerve to hole the putt that secured him a minimum of a half at the last, and ensured he will be the new World Number One come Monday morning.

But the 26 year old, who defeated Miguel Angel Jiménez in his last-eight tie, is more worried about taking on Ryder Cup teammate Donald in the final.

"It has taken me only five years to get to number one," he said. "For myself, my family and the people I work with it's a great achievement.

"I was not thinking about the number one spot (against Watson) as I was sure I would get the opportunity again over the next few weeks, I just wanted to win the match.

"He made a great birdie at 17, you can't do anything about that, but it worked out fine.

"Luke is probably one of the best match play players in the world, we get along well but because it's a final it will add more pressure."