Date: March 01, 2009
Author: PA Sport

Ogilvy v Casey in Accenture final

Geoff Ogilvy moved into his third WGC-Accenture Match Play final in four years with victory over Stewart Cink as Paul Casey edged past Ross Fisher to become the first English finalist of the event. Australia&aposs Ogilvy, winner of the event in 2006 and runner up in 2007, won 4&2 over the American Cink, last year&aposs losing finalist, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. In the all-English semi-final, Casey scored a 2&1 win over Fisher to reach the 36-hole final, which takes place tomorrow. Only one Englishman had previously reached the last four of this event, with Ian Poulter appearing in the semis in 2005. Cink had earlier in the day defeated Ernie Els 2&1 in the quarter-finals while Ogilvy had ended the run of 19-year-old Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy with a 2&1 win. Ogilvy took a one-up lead into the par-five 11th but he found the lip of a fairway bunker off the tee and then missed a par putt from 14 feet. There was woe for both players at the par-three 12th. Both men found greenside bunkers, Cink overclubbing and Ogilvy underclubbing from the elevated tee box 194 yards out. Cink&aposs recovery out of the trap was sublime, to inside a foot from the hole, while Ogilvy left himself nine feet, with both men holing out to leave the match finely poised with six to play. Ogilvy, though, turned his game up a notch to take the match by winning the next four holes, scoring birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie to go through to his third final in four years. “When you make birdies like that at the end it&aposs a nice way to finish,” Ogilvy said. The tournament had moved higher into the foothills of the Tortolita mountains from The Gallery Club, its home of the previous two years, and Ogilvy had with Casey travelled from their Whisper Rock golf club in Scottsdale, Arizona, to play a practice round two weeks prior to the tournament in order to familiarise themselves with the new course. It certainly paid dividends for both men and Ogilvy looked forward to a final between friends. “It will be fun,” he said. “We both came down a couple of weeks ago to check out the golf course and if we both ended up in the final that&aposs very coincidental.” “I&aposm sure the Whisper Rock members will be down in force.” Casey&aposs 4&3 win over American Sean O&aposHair at the desert course near Tucson, Arizona, and Fisher&aposs 2&1 victory over US Ryder Cup hero Justin Leonard ensured a first English finalist and an all-Surrey match with Casey from Weybridge and Fisher from Cheam. Fisher had beaten three Americans – Pat Perez, Jim Furyk and Leonard – en route to the last four but bogeyed the par-four opening hole before matching Casey shot for shot over the next four holes. Casey had not fallen behind in any of his previous matches and was two up after 13 holes when Fisher overshot the 13th green with a chip out of greenside rough on the way to a bogey six. There were problems for both Englishmen at the 14th but Fisher came off worse, firing out of the cacti on his second shot and into scrub next to a greenside TV camera tower. He took a drop but the ball was still in amongst low-lying cacti and Fisher shot gingerly out of trouble into more conventional rough on the other side of the green. His fifth shot was much better, to 13 feet, leaving Casey with a fourth shot from the back fringe that he left short. Fisher then holed his double-bogey putt and remarkably escaped with a halved hole as Casey saw his seven-foot putt lip out. Both men got back on track with birdies at the 15th and Fisher cut Casey&aposs lead to one hole with a birdie two at the 16th. Fisher, though, overcooked his approach shot to the 17th green and Casey capitalised with a 15-foot putt for victory. McIlroy, meanwhile, in his first tournament as a professional in the United States, was not downhearted despite being unable to continue his excellent form beyond the quarter-finals. “Geoff played incredibly well and I needed to get birdies but it just wasn&apost enough in the end,” said McIlroy. “But I can take a lot out of this week. I played well and I&aposve held my own against some of the best players in the world so it&aposs been good.”