by Jeff Skinner
The 1986 adventure/fantasy film, The Highlander gave us the memorable quote, “There can be only one.” They were talking about immortal warriors that spent centuries trying to slay each other. But the quote can certainly be applied to sports as we separate winners from losers.
Each week in golf there can be only one…winner. Most weeks that would be true, but this week in the desert there wasn’t only one winner. Jason Day walked away with the win at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship but runner up Victor Dubuisson earned our respect with his steel will and miraculous shot making.
Jason Day looked to be in control when he went three up but as he did earlier against his hero, Ernie Els, Dubuisson found a way to turn it around. The 23 year old Frenchmen won the last two holes in the championship match with a clutch birdie at seventeen and a par on the last that sent the match to extra holes. And that is when the fun began.
Day looked to have the trophy in his hands as Dubuisson got into serious trouble more than once. Hitting from the desert on both the 19th and 20th holes Dubuisson made miraculous recoveries. And then like a pro’s pro sank the par putts. They were two astonishing pars made by a golfer known to few here in the states. But after today’s performance he may have supplanted Jean van de Velde as France’s most famous golfer.
Day claims his second and most significant PGA Tour win and may be on the way to fulfilling his huge potential. He has had three second place finishes in majors and always seems to be in the mix.
While Dubuisson could understandably be upset at his second place he has to be happy with his performance and his steady rise up the world ranking.
Day and Dubuisson aren’t the only “winners” this week. With all the great matches we were treated to the Match Play Championship certainly got a bump. There was plenty of buzz all week with Rickie Fowler, Graham McDowell, Els, Jordan Spieth and Jim Furyk all playing well and there was a wonderful mix of young bloods and old vets sharing the limelight.
Cheers to both Jason Day and Victor Dubuisson for giving us a championship match well worth watching. And here is hoping that The Match Play Championship finds a new sponsor and venue because this is an entertaining format worth preserving.