Westwood and Mahan tests to end McIlroy and Wilson’s challenges
It is difficult to see past reasonably-priced favourites Hunter Mahan (8/13) and Lee Westwood (4/5) in the semi-finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship…
Hunter Mahan to beat Mark Wilson @ 8/13
While the other semi-final sees two golfing giants collide, this is a chance for two less celebrated stars to earn a spell in the spotlight, with Mahan only seeded sixth in his bracket and Wilson all the way back in tenth.
Counting against Wilson is that six years have passed since a participant rated among the bottom-half made the final. Three have got this far since then lost, the last being Ross Fisher in 2009, who notably exited to a number six in Paul Casey.
Mahan is the more experienced match play competitor and was the most dominant winner across all four quarter-finals, claiming victory over Matt Kuchar – conqueror of top seed Martin Kaymer – with five holes still to play.
Lee Westwood to beat Rory McIlroy @ 4/5
This showdown would in many ways have been a dream final given that both men were top seeds in their bracket and will replace Luke Donald as the world number one if they win the tournament, however expect a spectacular semi-final instead.
McIlroy has been fairly impressive in recent rounds, triumphing in each of his last three contests by three holes with time to spare, but Westwood – having never previously passed the second round in 11 attempts – has done that throughout.
The 38-year-old’s progress was arguably even more impressive because he had a tougher route this far, whereas poor performances from the likes of Sergio Garcia and in particular Jason Day stopped McIlroy from facing anyone in the top half of his draw.
Westwood’s displays to date, and the fact that the battle to be top of the rankings is less of a preoccupation for him having been there before, leave him looking the more likely winner.