Day Outduels Dubuission in the Desert

Match Play Championship is Australian’s Second PGA Tour Title

Jason Day overcame magic-infused shotmaking from Victor Dubuisson to win the Accenture Match Play Championship, played this past weekend at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ. The title, worth $1.53 million, was won in extraordinary fashion after Day was pushed to five extra holes and head-shaking disbelief.

“I kept shaking my head because there was a couple of times there where I thought [Dubuisson] was absolutely dead— the tournament was mine,” said Day. It eventually was, but not before Dubuisson’s astonishing short game nearly stole the show and gave notice that yet another young gun has emerged on the PGA Tour.

Here’s what happened:

Down two with two to play, Dubuisson birdied the 17th hole then got up and down from a greenside bunker on the 18th for par, tying the match after Day went par/bogey.

At the extra-hole 19th, the Frenchman’s approach bounced off the green and rolled against a wicked Jumping Cholla, whose skin-piercing needles are usually incentive for a penalty drop. Not this time. Dubuisson slashed hard through the spiny cactus— his club clipping a TV cable—and the ball scampered up a slope of three-inch grass to less than four feet for a Houdini-esque par.

More magic happened on the par-five 20th: another uphill greenside wedge from rock-surrounded desert bush. Dubuisson’s jettison punch shot was slowed perfectly by a high-grass apron, rolling to within six feet of the hole and setting up a second consecutive, match-saving putt.

“Those two shots were amazing,” Dubuisson said later. “I just played it like I had nothing to lose.”

After the competitors equaled bogeys and pars on the next two holes, Day ended the drama with a bit of his own, a superb approach that resulted in a four-foot birdie on the 23rd hole and his second-ever PGA Tour title.

“Vic, man, he has a lot of guts,” said Day. “He has a great short game – straight out of the cactus twice. For a 23-year-old kid, he’s got a lot of game. We’re going to see a lot of him for years to come.”


PGA Tour: Feb. 27-March 2; The Honda Classic; PGA National; Palm Beach Gardens, FL
LPGA Tour: Feb. 27-March 2; HSBC Women’s Champions; Singapore
Champions Tour: March 14-16; Toshiba Classic; Newport Beach CC; Newport Beach, CA


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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via