Hunter Mahan to face Ian Poulter in Match Play semifinals
BY Wire Reports
Sunday, February 24, 2013
2/24/13 at 6:52 AM
The stars are gone from the Match Play Championship in Marana, Ariz. Still alive are Ian Poulter and former Oklahoma State star Hunter Mahan, the best in match play over the last few years.
Poulter added to his reputation as one tough customer Saturday when he beat Steve Stricker with one big putt after another, raising his record in this fickle format to 19-3-2 over the last four years.
Mahan outlasted U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson in 18 holes, leaving him two wins away from joining Tiger Woods as the only repeat winners of this World Golf Championship. Mahan hasn't lost a match in two years, and even more impressive than his 11 straight wins is that he has gone 151 holes at Dove Mountain without trailing.
Poulter and Mahan meet Sunday morning in the semifinals.
Matt Kuchar had no trouble against Robert Garrigus, building a 4-up lead through 10 holes and hanging on for a 3-and-2 win to reach the quarterfinals for the third straight year. He faces Jason Day of Australia, who won a tight match against Graeme McDowell in 18 holes.
Along with a perfect singles record in the Ryder Cup, Poulter has won the WGC version of the Match Play Championship and the World Match Play Championship in Spain in 2011.
Mahan hasn't lost any match around the world since Martin Kaymer beat him in the third round at Dove Mountain in 2011. He exacted a small piece of revenge by beating Kaymer in the third round. Mahan had to play only 43 holes to reach the quarterfinals.
But his match against Simpson was tough from the start, and it was the first time Mahan played the 18th hole in competition since his opening match a year ago.
Neither player led by more than one hole, and Mahan took the lead for good on the par-3 16th when Simpson missed a 10-foot par putt.
Ariya Jutanugarn leads LPGA Thailand by 3 shots: Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 2-under 70 Saturday to lead by three strokes after the third round of the LPGA Thailand despite finishing with two bogeys.
Original Print Headline: Mahan, Poulter await Match Play showdown
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell tees off the fourth hole during the quarterfinal match against Jason Day at the Match Play Championship golf tournament, Saturday. ROSS D. FRANKLIN / Associated