Match play tournaments can be long and grueling events. Many golfers find this style of golf to require a different type of mental focus than stroke play events. For those that advance to the weekend, they must be play two matches a day in order to move on. None of that seemed to be a problem for Matt Kuchar en route to his victory at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.
Kuchar played some of his best golf over the weekend, despite less than perfect conditions. Granted, it wasn’t the snow that the players saw on Wednesday, but the blustery conditions wreaked havoc on many shots. On Sunday, he started out with a relatively easy victory over Jason Day, winning the match four and three. Kuchar was in control essentially from the sixth hole to the conclusion of the match, going up by three heading into the back nine. The closest Day was able to get after that point was two down.
In his Sunday afternoon match for the championship, Kuchar had a bit of a battle on his hands with fellow American Hunter Mahan while Day and Ian Poulter battled in the consolation match. Once again, Kuchar headed into the back nine with a significant advantage, this time up by four. Mahan, however, was able to battle within striking distance on the back nine, reducing Kuchar’s lead to one after the 16th hole. He seemingly ran out of gas, however, and Kuchar won the 17th to take the match two and one.
While match play is by no means the norm on the PGA Tour, there is a certain mystique that surrounds it. Perhaps part of the intrigue is due to the fact that we see these events so rarely. For me, however, there is something exciting about seeing two golfers facing off with one another in direct competition, as opposed to each golfer playing against the course as they do in stroke play. It’s gotta be a nice chance for the golfers, too, as they are able to mix things up a little bit throughout the year. It also provides the ultimate bragging rights.