Three times in the last three days, Rory McIlroy had to rally from late deficits leading up to the PGA Tour's Match Play championship yesterday afternoon at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
But in the final, he removed any suspense by winning four straight holes against an errant Gary Woodland and never looked back. Woodland conceded the 16th hole and McIlroy captured his second World Golf Championship with a 4-and-2 victory.
"I'm really proud of myself with how I showed a lot of character early on with coming back from deficits," said McIlroy, the world's top-ranked golfer. "I played really solid golf. My second WGC and first win in the States this year. I couldn't be happier."
Woodland had a 4-foot par putt on the 13th to cut the lead to 1 up. But he ran it over the right edge and momentum shifted back to McIlroy.
He won the 14th with a par when Woodland left a long birdie attempt woefully short. And he closed out the match when Woodland blasted out of a bunker and over the 16th green. He missed his next shot and removed his cap to congratulate McIlroy.
"My putt drops on 13 and it's a different ballgame," Woodland said. "But I missed that one. And he was like a shark. Smelled blood, and it was gave over quickly."
It was the first time since Tiger Woods in 2008 that the No. 1 seed won golf's most unpredictable tournament.
In the consolation match, Danny Willett defeated Jim Furyk on the 16th hole.
McIlroy won for the second time this year and the 16th time worldwide. It was his 10th PGA Tour victory, joining Woods (24) and Jack Nicklaus (12) as the only players with at least 10 victories at age 25 or younger. McIlroy turns 26 today.
Park wins again
Inbee Park won the LPGA Tour's North Texas Shootout in Irving for the second time in three years, closing with a bogey-free 6-under 65 for a three-stroke victory. Park finished at 15-under 269 at Las Colinas for her second victory this year and 14th on the tour. Cristie Kerr (66) and Hee Young Park (66) tied for second. Lexi Thompson, who shared the third-round lead with Park, closed with a 69 to tie for fourth with Maria McBride (65) at 11 under.
Woosnam a champ
Ian Woosnam made a 30-foot birdie putt in a playoff to win the Insperity Invitational in The Woodlands, Texas, for his first Champions Tour title.
Woosnam, the 57-year-old Welshman playing on a sponsor exemption, beat Kenny Perry and Tom Lehman on the first extra hole at The Woodlands Country Club.
The 1991 Masters champion was making his 36th start on the 50-and-over tour.
Woosnam closed with a 4-under 68 to match Perry (66) and Lehman (69) at 11-under 205. -- AP