USA TODAY Sports
In a game for 3rd place (and more cash), Aussie Jason Day knocked off Ian Poulter on the 18th hole to win 1-up.
If a golf match is played, but no one is there to see it, do the results still count? Jason Day edged out Ian Poulter on Sunday in the consolation game at the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play, but the two international superstars were confined to irrelevance as NBC focused on the championship match between Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan, and then Tim Finchem's announcement that the PGA Tour was opposing the USGA's ban on the anchored stroke.
While those events dominated the TV coverage, Day rebounded from an ugly morning match against Kuchar to defeat Poulter, 1-up. Day, who started the week as a No. 11 seed, was extremely impressive through his first four matches before hitting the speed bump this morning in the nasty weather conditions. The Aussie is one of the most talented players in the world, even after a relatively lackluster 2012 season. He's got the ability to get hot and contend at all the biggest events on Tour, including the majors.
Day seemed to get his game in order in the afternoon, but Poulter's struggles in the frigid Arizona conditions continued. Both golfers did not make a birdie in the morning session, battling high winds and temperatures in the 30s that dramatically affected scoring conditions.
Poulter entered the week with perhaps the strongest match play resume in the world. He had won this event two years ago and had also won the Volvo World Match Play title in that same year. These victories, combined with his much more high-profile success in the Ryder Cup, make him a formidable match play force. It was unsurprising to see him make it to the final day of competition, but any momentum he had was lost in the wind against defending champion Hunter Mahan.
That trouble continued in the consolation match, where both players hustled through the layout and worked to get out of the blistering wind. Poulter did keep fighting, as he always does in the one-on-one format, by winning the 16th and 17th holes to keep the match alive and push it to the 18th hole. But Day maintained his 1-hole margin closed things out on the 18th green with a par to win third place.
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