Victor Dubuisson defeated Ernie Els 1-up in the semifinals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Dubuisson will play Jason Day in the finals starting at 2:10 pm ET.
Dubuisson made a clutch up-and-down from 67 yards on the 7th hole to stay 3-down. If he missed his 12-footer for par on 7, his charge would have been fruitless.
Dubuisson birdied the 8th hole to finally start cutting into the deficit. He added birdies on 9 and 11 to square the match, and won the par-3 12th with a par to go 1-up. On the par-5 13th, Els hit his third shot to two feet for birdie, but Dubuisson nailed his 15-footer for birdie to retain his 1-up lead.
Els won the 14th hole to square the match, and stop the bleeding. However, Dubuisson birdied the 15th to go 1-up with three to play.
Ernie nailed a 33-foot birdie putt on 16 to even the match once again, and after halving 17 with good two-putts, the players headed down 18.
Both players hit the fairway, but Ernie missed the green with his second while Dubuisson’s approach rolled to the back fringe, 34-feet from the hole. After Ernie chipped out to 15-feet, Dubuisson lagged his putt to 2-feet for par. Ernie was unable to convert his par putt, and he conceded Victor’s par.
After the match, Dubuisson said his mental game was off early on, but he was pleased with his ability to refocus:
I was not feeling as confident today as the round before, and that’s why I had the poor start. I made like three or four very bad shots.
Then I tried to focus again in my game and…I knew I had to play my best golf. It’s what I did. And I proved to myself that my mentality is very solid.