Monday, February 24

McDowell Wants Dubuisson Partnership at Ryder Cup

By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

Victor Dubuisson
"[VICTOR DUBUISSON IS] GOING TO BE a massive part of the Ryder Cup team this year and I am hoping to be there with him and maybe get a foursomes game with him," Graeme McDowell said after his defeat to the 23-year-old Frenchman, who went on to produce some incredible recoveries from the desert to take Jason Day to the 23rd hole in the match play final having coming back from three down after seven holes to beat Ernie Els one up in the semis.

"He's got that little bit of European flair," McDowell added.

"He's the first really, really exciting player that France has produced in a few years. And I think he's one to watch."

* * *

Jason Day defeated Rickie Fowler 3 and 2 to square off against Dubuisson in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain. The Australian was three up after 12 and two up with two to play but Dubuisson made an amazing recovery to force extra holes. First he made birdie from a fairway bunker at the 17th to take the match to the 18th, where he got up and down from greenside sand for a winning par after Day had three-putted.

At the first extra hole, Dubuisson looked dead and buried when he flew the green into the cactus. According to Day, on course commentator David Feherty saw the lie and told him, "he's unplayable."

"Oh good," Day recalled saying. But he was stunned to see Dubuisson hack his golf ball out of the cactus, through the rough to four feet.

At the second play off hole, the ninth, Dubuisson hooked his approach into the desert again but somehow managed to slash it onto the green and make a seven footer for a half.

At the 21st—the 10th—Dubuisson missed from 11 feet and Day from eight to send the match to the 14th, where the man from Cannes had a 20 footer for victory but came up short.

It all then ended at the driveable 15th, the 23rd hole of the first final to go into sudden death since Jeff Maggert beat Andrew Magee in the inaugural event in 1999. Dubuisson carved his drive into deep rough right of the green.

"He muttered 'dead' under his breath," Day said.

The Australian's tee shot finished up just off the green and after watching Dubuisson slash his shot 30 feet past the pin to the back fringe, he chipped to four feet and then drilled home the winning putt after his opponent had failed with his long distance birdie try.

The Frenchman took runner-up prize money of $906,000 (€660,000) and a lead of more than 500,000 points over Thomas Bjorn in the European Ryder Cup Points List.

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

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