One shot came out of the bottom of a cactus, the other from the base of a desert bush with rocks scattered around it. Both times, Jason Day felt the Match Play Championship was his to win Sunday. And both times, he watched Victor Dubuisson turn the impossible into pars in the wildest conclusion ever to a tournament that is unpredictable even in normal circumstances.
“At that time, you’re just thinking, ‘Do I need to just hand him the trophy now after those two shots?’ ” Day said.
“Those two shots were amazing,” Dubuisson said. “I just played it like I had nothing to lose.”
But Dubuisson finally ran out of magic. Day ended the madness at Arizona’s Dove Mountain on the fifth extra hole when he pitched over a mound to 4 feet and made birdie, a sigh of relief as much as it was cause for celebration at capturing his first World Golf Championship.
“I kept shaking my head because there was a couple of times there where I thought he was absolutely dead — the tournament was mine,” Day said.
Day won for the second time on the PGA Tour and rose to a career-best No. 4 in the world. Day won $1.53 million. Lost in all the theater was that he never trailed over the final 53 holes.
It was the first time the championship match went overtime since the inaugural year in 1999 at La Costa.
Dubuisson earned $906,000, all but assuring a PGA Tour card for next year. And he all but clinched a spot on the Ryder Cup team in September, moving to the top of the points table by the equivalent of about $1.5 million.
Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Thailand to end a five-year victory drought, holding off top-ranked Inbee Park at Siam Country Club. 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, making her first start of the year, had a bogey-free 66. The South Korean player won six times last year.
Scotland’s Catriona Matthew was third at 11 under after a 65, and Michelle Wie was 10 under after a 69.
Seventeen-year-old amateur Minjee Lee won the Victorian Open in Melbourne by six strokes for her first victory in a professional event. Lee closed with a 6-under 68 to finish at 16-under 279 at the Thirteenth Beach Golf Course in the event sanctioned by the Australian tour. The Australian amateur champion finished second behind Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece, in the Australian Ladies Masters and tied for 11th last week in the Women’s Australian Open.
Scotland’s Vicky Laing was second after a 66.
LPGA Tour player Alena Sharp won the Symetra Tour’s season-opening Visit Mesa Gateway Classic, beating Marissa Steen by two strokes. The 32-year-old Canadian closed with a 1-under 71 for a 12-under 204 total at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. She finished second last year, two strokes behind Jaclyn Sweeney. Steen finished with a 68.
Emily Talley (65), Becca Huffner (68), Sadena Parks (68) and Jennie Lee (71) tied for third at 9 under.
Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece, had a 71 to tie for 14th at 3 under.