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Ernie Els, 44, makes it back to match play semifinals

Ernie Els hits a tee shot on the

Ernie Els hits a tee shot on the third hole during the quarterfinal round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain on Feb. 22, 2014 in Marana, Ariz. Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

MARANA, Ariz. - Thirteen years and a hemisphere apart, Ernie Els again is in the semifinals of the Accenture WGC World Match Play Championship after a victory over a kid not half his age.

Els, 44, took advantage of his experience and the ineffectiveness of 20-year-old Jordan Spieth for a 4-and-2 victory Saturday in their quarterfinal at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain in the foothills north of Tucson.

Spieth seems to be on track as a star player, but Els, a four-time major champion, said he felt knowledge was a factor, not only against Spieth but the other three men he faced, including current U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.

"I played young guys all week," Els said, "and I could almost feel their frustration. I could almost sense the frustration in Jordan today that he wasn't playing the way he did [Friday]. And I was kind of playing on that a little bit -- just making sure, if I was missing a shot, that I got it up and down to kind of keep him at bay or keep him frustrated."

Els will face little-known, but rapidly advancing, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson in one of Sunday morning's semis. Jason Day, a semifinalist last year, meets Rickie Fowler in the other. The winners play an 18-hole final in the afternoon.

Dubuisson, 23, won the Turkish Open last fall over Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Rose. Saturday, he defeated beat Graeme McDowell, 1-up, in their quarter, going ahead when McDowell bogeyed the par-3 16th.

Day, a 26-year-old Aussie, was a 2-and-1 winner over South African Louis Oosthuizen, who was bothered by a bad back.

Fowler, 25, lost a 3-up lead when Jim Furyk birdied 13, 14 and 15 and fell behind with a bogey on 16. But Furyk bogeyed 17 and 18 -- the latter when a chip rolled back off the green to his feet -- and Fowler won, 1-up.

It was December 2001 when the event was held in Australia that Els last made it as far as the semis, losing to Pierre Fulke. Since then, Els has been past the second round only once and been knocked out in the first round five times, including last year.

"I almost forgot about that," Els said when asked if he thought it would take 13 years to return to the semis. "Yeah, it's taken a long time to get back.

" I really had a love-hate relationship with this event. I was lucky enough to get in the field a couple of years ago [2012] and beat Luke Donald. But most of the time, I lost in the first round here, either on the 18th or 19th hole."

This year, Els beat Stephen Gallacher in the first round on the 19th and Rose in the second round on the 20th. He beat Jason Dufner on the 18th in the third round. Saturday, he needed only 16 holes. "I'm obviously elated," he said.

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