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Golf: Australian Jason Day wins Match Play Championship

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Jason Day, of Australia, poses with the trophy after winning his championship match against Victor Dubuisson, of France, during the Match Play Championship golf tournament on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Associated Press

First published Feb 23 2014 06:41PM
Updated Feb 25, 2014 04:51PM

Marana, Ariz. • Jason Day never stopped believing he would win the Match Play Championship, even in the midst of so many shots by Victor Dubuisson that simply defied belief.

With his ball at the base of a cactus, Dubuisson took an all-or-nothing swing though the sharp needles and a TV cable and incredibly hit it to 4 feet to save par. Seemingly out of it on the next playoff hole, the 23-year-old Frenchman somehow whacked a wedge through a desert bush and rocks and onto the green for another par.

Day ended the madness Sunday on the 23rd hole with a pitch to 4 feet on No. 15 for birdie.

It was the first time the championship match went overtime since the inaugural year in 1999 at La Costa, when Jeff Maggert chipped on the second extra hole of a 36-hole final to beat Andrew Magee. That was like watching paint dry compared to the show Dubuisson put on.

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

Day walked away with his second PGA Tour title, which will take the Australian to No. 4 in the world. This tournament might better be remembered for Dubuisson’s escapes.

"Vic, man, he has a lot of guts," Day said. "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."

Two holes down with two holes to play, Dubuisson rapped in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and then took advantage of a rare lapse by Day, who bogeyed the 18th hole with a three-putt from 50 feet on the upper tier. The Frenchman saved par from the bunker to force extra holes.

LPGA Tour

Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Thailand to end a five-year victory drought, holding off top-ranked Inbee Park at Siam County Club in Chonburi. Nordqvist, the LPGA Championship and LPGA Tour Championship winner in 2009, led wire-to-wire. The 26-year-old Swede closed with a 4-under 68 to beat defending champion Park by two strokes.

Nordqvist finished at 15-under 273 on the Pattaya Old Course. Park had a 66.

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