McIlroy knocks off Woodland to win Match Play|
San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Rory McIlroy cruised to a 4 & 2 win
over Gary Woodland in Sunday's final match at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play
McIlroy won four in a row from the fourth to grab a commanding lead. Woodland
took the 11th and 12th, but missed a 4-footer at 13 that would have gotten him
Woodland bogeyed the 14th to slide 3-down. Woodland conceded the match on 16
after missing a birdie chip.
The win at TPC Harding Park was McIlroy's 10th on the PGA Tour and 11th on the
"Really proud of myself with how I showed a lot of character early on in the
tournament, you know, coming back from some deficits. I played really solid
golf," McIlroy said. "I've gone on a nice little run of match play. I got a
lot of confidence the way I played against Rickie (Fowler) in the Ryder Cup
last year, and I just followed it on through into this.
"Obviously delighted. Second World Golf Championship and first win in the
states this year, I couldn't be happier."
In the consolation match, England's Danny Willett beat Jim Furyk, 3 & 2.
Willett picked up enough FedExCup points with the third-place finish to earn
special temporary status on the PGA Tour.
Woodland and McIlroy both birdied the first. McIlroy 3-putted for bogey on the
second and Woodland had a chance to grab the lead, but missed an 8-foot par
For the second straight hole, McIlroy 3-putted for bogey at the third. And
again, it didn't cost him as Woodland hit a tree with his second, then played
his third to the right rough. From there, Woodland got up and down for bogey
to remain all square.
McIlroy, who lost to Hunter Mahan in the finals in 2012, was the first to win
a hole. He parred the fourth and watched Woodland miss a 15-foot par try.
Woodland was in the trees again at five, and scrambled for par, but it wasn't
enough as McIlroy hit a bunker shot to three feet and his birdie was conceded.
At the sixth, McIlroy poured in a 35-foot birdie putt to push his lead to 3-
up. McIlroy also birdied the seventh and moved 4-up when Woodland missed his
birdie try from a foot closer.
The duo parred eight and nine, then matched birdies on the 10th. McIlroy found
sand with his approach at the 11th, and barely got his sand shot out of the
bunker. Woodland lagged a birdie putt to concession range.
After McIlroy missed his par effort, Woodland was within 3-down. Woodland
drove the green at the 12th. His eagle putt stopped within a foot. McIlroy's
12-footer for birdie slid by the edge and his advantage was down to 2-up.
The big swing came at 13 and 14. Woodland blasted a bunker shot to four feet.
McIlroy's tee ball went over the green, and he only managed to chip to the
McIlroy's par putt nearly dropped, but stayed out on the right edge.
Woodland's par putt to get him within 1-down also slid by the edge. Woodland
hit a poor first putt from 60 feet out.
He 2-putted from 41 feet for bogey and conceded McIlroy's 14-foot birdie
chance. The dup both parred the 15th.
Woodland and McIlroy missed the green at the drivable 16th to the right.
McIlroy played first and his chip stopped six feet from the hole. Woodland hit
a poor chip, which ran over the green into the rough. After he failed to
convert his birdie chip, Woodland conceded the title to McIlroy.
Willett bogeyed the fifth to fall one down, but Furyk conceded the ninth to
square the match. The duo traded bogeys at 10 and 11. Willett dropped in back-
to-back birdies at 12 and 13 to move 2-up.
Furyk's drive on the 16th got stuck in a tree. After Willett dropped his
approach nine feet from the hole, Furyk conceded the hole and the match.
"I've had a couple of good weeks of practice back home and things are kind of
in the right place. It's a different format. I haven't played it for a few
years, but it's nice to get back into match play," Willett said.
NOTES: McIlroy is the youngest winner of this event ... He pushed his record
in this event to 17-6 ... McIlroy, who earned $1.57 million with the win, is
only the second No. 1 overall seed to win the title. Tiger Woods did so in
2003, 2004 and 2008 ... When Woodland fell 3-down after six holes, that was
his biggest deficit of the week ... The PGA Tour returns to Florida next week
for the Players Championship, where Martin Kaymer won last year, while the
European Tour travels to Mauritius for a new event, the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius
05/03 19:47:13 ET