American Matt Kuchar won the World Golf Championships (WGC) Match Play event on Sunday with a 2 and 1 win over defending champion and countryman Hunter Mahan.
Kuchar took down Australian Jason Day 4 and 3 in the morning semi-final before backing it up with an impressive win over Mahan in the championship final.
It was the first WGC title for the affable 34-year-old and fifth US PGA Tour win, netting him a cool $US1.5 million ($A1.45 million) and moving him to eighth in the world rankings.
Day managed to beat Englishman Ian Poulter in the consolation final 1-up to take third place, allowing him to move to 35th in the new global rankings.
In cold and windy conditions on the Dove Mountain course, the American pair halved the opening three holes in the championship match before Kuchar won four of the next five to race to a 4-up lead through eight holes.
Mahan started to fashion a comeback with wins on the 10th and 11th holes but stalled with a loss on 13 before getting back to just 2-down with a birdie win on 14.
When Kuchar bogeyed the 16th, Mahan was back in the contest, just one down with two to play but, after a terrible lie in the fairway bunker on the second-last hole, he hacked his approach into a waste area.
Unable to advance the ball very far, Mahan then couldn’t hole out from distance, conceding the hole and the match to his countryman.
Day was 2-down to Poulter through six holes but won the seventh, eighth and ninth to gain a 1-up lead.
He won the 12th with a par to double his advantage and went 3-up when Poulter bogeyed the 14th but the Australian struggled to close out the match.
Day bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes to keep the Englishman alive and needed to make a nine-foot par on the last to close the deal.
‘‘I won three holes straight, and we were kind of laughing and giggling out there for the first nine and, once we turned the corner on 10, everything got real serious,’’ Day said.
‘‘He obviously made a couple of good clutch pars on 16 and 17.’’
Day was disappointed to bow out in the semis but optimistic about the week in its entirety where he beat three major champions and an impressive rookie.
‘‘I just wasn’t quite sharp, not as sharp as yesterday this morning. I just came out this morning a little flat and made a lot of mental errors out there and just pretty much gave the game to Kuch so I am a little disappointed,’’ Day said.
‘‘But I think the whole week in itself is a positive week for me.
‘‘I played good golf against great golfers.’’