Australian golfer Jason Day claimed the biggest win of his career early Monday morning Australian time when he beat Victor Dubuisson in the final of the WGC Accenture Matchplay Championship in Arizona.
Having come runner-up in a number of major tournaments, the 26-year old Queenslander held his nerve to birdie the 23rd hole of the final claiming the title along with a winner’s cheque of $1.7 million.
Regarded as one of the most physically demanding tournaments on the golfing calendar, Day managed to stay focused throughout as he knocked off Thorbjørn Olesen in the first round, Billy Horschel in the second round and George Coetzee in the third round.
However things got tougher for the Australian in the quarter-finals when he came up against South African Louis Oosthuizen and the former major winner pushed Day to the limit before the Australian prevailed.
This set up an enticing semi-final clash with young American Ricky Fowler and the two did not disappoint with Day coming out on top meaning that he would face Frenchman Victor Dubuisson later in the day in the Championship match.
For the first time in the history of the WGC Accenture Matchplay Championship, the final was forced into overtime as Day and Dubuisson could not be separated after 18 holes.
With things now sudden death, it looked as if Day would claim the title on the 19th and 20th holes before two miraculous recovery shots kept the young Frenchman alive.
The exhausting battle would come to an end on the 23rd hole with Day holding his nerve to make a five foot putt to seal the win.
After claiming the biggest win of his career, Day said that he wondered what he had to do to win after seeing Dubuisson make those incredible shots.
‘‘There was so much pressure on him. And he does it again. I’ve never wanted something so bad in my life. But for a second there, I didn’t think it was going to happen,” said Day.
‘‘In golf you will win some and choke some and hopefully you win more than choke. I just kept on telling myself I’m not going to stop until I achieve it and I’ll find a way to win.”
The win moves Day to fourth in the world rankings behind just Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson and it could give him that extra confidence he needs to take that next step and win one of the four major championships.
Written by: Joe Schwab @Meadowswidget