We have reached the business end of this year’s WGC Matchplay as only four players remainWGC Match Play Final Round Preview.
In what is one of the most grueling tournaments on Tour, the semifinal lineup will see world number one Scottie Scheffler take on compatriot Sam Burns. While in the other semifinal, Rory McIlroy will take on Cameron Young.
A day of drama unfolds as a dream clash remains on the cards
Sixteen players squared off against one another yesterday in the hope that they would be one of the last four men standing.
Scottie Scheffler is playing like a man possessed and the world number one remains on course to retain the title he stunningly won a year ago.
Many would have predicted the Texan to have breezed through against J.T Poston in their last sixteen clash but Poston would end up giving Scheffler an almighty scare.
Starting the thirteenth hole two down, Scheffler would show all of his class to birdie three of the last four holes to dramatically snatch victory on the match’s final hole.
Scheffler’s last sixteen victories would set up a quarterfinal clash with the two-time winner of this event, Jason Day.
Once again Scheffler would be pushed all of the ways but would showcase all of his class on the back nine to narrowly deny the Australian 2 and 1.
Scheffler’s semifinal opponent will be Sam Burns who is enjoying his best-ever run in the tournament.
Burns who is looking to land his first-ever WGC title had the tough task of overcoming US Ryder Cup star Patrick Cantlay in the last sixteen.
In a match that ebbed and flowed it was Burns who would emerge victorious, edging his Presidents Cup teammate 2 and 1.
In the quarterfinals, Burns would face world number 60 Mackenzie Hughes. Clearly boosted from his earlier victory over Cantlay, Burns produced some stunning golf to beat the Canadian comfortably 3 and 2.
Young has been playing all week beautifully and absolutely thrashed 2021 winner Billy Horschel 5 and 4 in the last sixteen.
If his last sixteen victories were one-sided then his quarterfinal against the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational Kurt Kitayama was anything but.
Leading 3 up at the turn, Kitayama produced a stirring comeback on the back nine to pull the matching backside to 1. The two would trade pars before Young would hold his nerve on the eighteenth green to close out the match.
Young certainly won’t be intimidated by Rory McIlroy in today’s semifinal and will believe that he can push the Northern Irishman to the limit.
McIlroy was the only European to qualify for the knockout stages and he showed all of his class in dispatching Australia’s Lucas Herbert in the round of 16.
Looking to win this tournament for the first time, many have been hoping that Scheffler and McIlroy might be able to provide a Ryder Cup preview in this year’s final.
McIlroy kept that dream showdown alive when he beat Xander Schaufelle in one of the week’s matches.
Heading down the final hole all square, McIlroy was able to find the crucial birdie to put himself into today’s semifinal.
With just four players remaining it is Scottie Scheffler who is the favorite for victory.
The American is in sublime form and looks on course to be the first man to win this tournament in back-to-back years since Tiger Woods achieved the feat in 2003, 2004.
It is McIlroy who comes next in the betting. McIlroy has never won this famous title and would dearly love to add this trophy to his collection. As Europe’s Ryder Cup stalwart he would love nothing better to lay down a marker ahead of the tournament later this year.
Sam Burns and Cameron Young are the outsiders in the betting but both have shown they are more than capable of winning big matches and will certainly give their backers a great run for their money.
All odds according to JazzSports
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