Jason Day will officially move to No. 1 in the world on Monday, and he might have a World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play title before Sunday ends.
In the marquee matchup of the week, Day beat third-ranked Rory McIlroy 1 Up in the semifinals at Austin Country Club on Sunday. He advances to face Louis Oosthuizen in the finals this afternoon and is looking for his second straight win after taking last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Oosthuizen beat Rafa Cabrera-Bello 4 and 3 in their semifinals match.
McIlroy, last year’s match play champion, led 1 Up at the turn, but Day birdied the 10th to square the match and then used birdies on 12 and 13 to go 2 Up.
McIlroy birdied 14 to cut it to one but wasn’t able to steal another hole from Day, who drained a lengthy par putt on 18 to hold off McIlroy.
“It was a hard match today to try and beat him, and I’m looking forward to the final,” said Day, who assured he’ll be No. 1 in the OWGR with his win over Brooks Koepka on Saturday. “It’s great to be able to have a chance to win this tournament.”
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Oosthizen, the 16 seed, birdied the first hole versus the 52nd-seeded Cabrera-Bello and never trailed. A birdie on the 10th pushed his advantage to 2 Up, and pars on 14 and 15 sealed the match. Cabrera-Bello will face McIlroy in the third-place match.
Last year, McIlroy beat Gary Woodland 4 and 2 in the finals of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.