Date: March 02, 2009
Author: PA Sport

Ogilvy seals second Match Play

Geoff Ogilvy won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for the second time in four years with a dominant 4&3 victory over Paul Casey. Ogilvy, the 2006 champion and 2007 runner-up, displayed his matchplay prowess yet again in the 36-hole final to pick up a cheque for US$1.4 million (A$2.2 million) with Casey unable to make an impression after a shaky start. The victory was the Australian&aposs third World Golf Championship title, sixth US Tour victory and fourth European Tour win, sending him to the top of the Race To Dubai and up to fourth in the world rankings. He and Casey had played a practice round together at the new Jack Nicklaus-designed Ritz-Carlton course a little over two weeks ago and their preparations paid dividends as Casey advanced to the final with a semi-final win over fellow Englishman Ross Fisher. Ogilvy, having knocked out two in-form players in Camilo Villegas of Colombia and Northern Ireland&aposs Rory McIlroy in previous rounds, defeated last year&aposs runner-up Stewart Cink in his semi-final. Casey, chasing a first PGA Tour win of his career and having never trailed in his matches en route to the final, was four down after 17 holes but gave himself a boost heading into the lunch break when he won the 18th with a birdie. Both Ogilvy and Casey had won their first events of 2009, Ogilvy at the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii and Casey at the Abu Dhabi Championship. Yet Ogilvy looked the most likely to add a second title of the year, getting off to the best possible start after the break when he birdied the first for the second time in the day to re-open a four-hole lead. That margin did not last for long, however, as Casey bounced back to win the 20th hole with a birdie four. Casey had a 15-foot putt to win the 21st hole but had to settle for a share of the spoils and he remained three down as temperatures in the desert soared. Casey&aposs putter was getting just as hot as he rolled in a 40-footer for birdie at the 22nd, but Ogilvy simply rolled in his own birdie putt from close range. At the 25th Casey again laid down the gauntlet, firing in an iron to around 15 feet only for Ogilvy to match it and cash in when his rival missed his birdie putt. Ogilvy cranked up the pressure even further by winning the eighth with an eagle three and it got worse for Casey as he bogeyed the ninth to go six down. Casey won the 659-yard 11th having ripped a three wood 302 yards onto the green, Ogilvy conceding his eagle putt. There more signs of life when Casey birdied the 13th but Ogilvy closed out the match on the 15th. Ogilvy had gone 57 holes without posting a bogey, his only over-par score of the last two days. “The whole weekend I played fantastic. I played two unbelievable players yesterday, Rory (McIlory) is going to be one of the best players in the world for a very long time and everyone needs to remember his name. He&aposs incredible for 19,” said Ogilvy. “Stewart Cink is very hard to beat in this tournament, always up there and then Paul today, one of the best players in the world, a really great competitor head to head.” “The fact that both of us came down on Friday the 13th to play a practice game, it&aposs astonishingly coincidental that we ended up in the final, it&aposs incredible.” “I&aposve been on the wrong end in this final, it&aposs not a very nice feeling, but it&aposs a very satisfying week to play well, I&aposm really happy with this.” “Tucson&aposs been good to me the last week in February for the last three or four years.” Casey was left to rue coming up against such a tough opponent. “I was out of the blocks fast this afternoon and made three birdies over the first eight holes and still lost two holes, so he played great golf,” Casey said. “I threw a lot at him but he didn&apost flinch. It was very impressive.” “I didn&apost have enough, simple as that. I have no excuses, he just played excellent golf all day.” Cink took the third-place match one up when he edged out Fisher at the 18th hole with a birdie, his third in a row to turn around a one-hole deficit.