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GOLF ROUNDUP

Geoff Ogilvy to face Paul Casey in final

Two of the world's best in match play advance.

March 01, 2009|Associated Press

Geoff Ogilvy and Paul Casey drove up to Dove Mountain two weeks ago to play a practice round on the new golf course for the Accenture Match Play Championship.

When they play again today at Marana, Ariz., the stakes will be significantly higher.

Ogilvy made five birdies on the back nine to outlast teenage sensation Rory McIlroy in the quarterfinals, then played his final four holes in five under par against Stewart Cink for a 4-and-2 victory to reach the championship match for the third time in four years.

His opponent will be Casey, who has turned in the most dominating performance in the 11-year history of this tournament.

In an all-England semifinal, Casey defeated Ross Fisher, 2 and 1, and will have a chance to become the first Match Play champion to never trail in any match the entire week. Even more astounding is that Casey has led 81 of the 82 holes he has played.

Casey had his easiest time of the week in the quarterfinals against Sean O'Hair, who got food poisoning overnight at the worst time. The American played the first two holes so poorly that Casey never had to attempt his six-foot birdie putt at No. 1 or an eight-foot birdie on the next hole. O'Hair shot 40 on the front nine, falling hopelessly behind as Casey won, 4 and 3.

A tournament that no longer has Tiger Woods instead has the best two golfers in match play over the last three years.

Ogilvy is 17-2 in match play dating to his 2006 victory at the Accenture Match Play Championship, the final year it was held at La Costa. That includes a singles victory in the Presidents Cup.

Casey is 16-3-1 in match play around the world, including his 2006 victory at the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, England, when he never trailed over the final 71 holes of that event.

Cink's loss meant the United States will not have a finalist for only the second time.

Ogilvy will be trying to win a World Golf Championship for the third time in his career, the most of any player besides Woods, who has won 15.

PGA Tour

Bo Van Pelt shot a three-under-par 67, enough to catch Mark Wilson for the lead at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Wilson shot a 69, leaving both at 11-under 199 through three rounds of the PGA Tour's annual stop south of the border.

Briny Baird shot a 67 to get within a stroke, putting him in today's final group with Wilson and Van Pelt at the 6,923-yard, par-70 El Camaleon course designed by Greg Norman.

LPGA

Paula Creamer had three consecutive birdies on the back nine for a five-under 67 and a three-stroke lead heading into the final round of the $1.45-million Honda LPGA Thailand.

The world's No. 3 player has a three-round total of 11-under 205, putting her ahead of Lorena Ochoa (68) and former Duke star Brittany Lang (71).

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