McIlroy downs Westwood to reach Match Play final
26 Feb 2012 - 18:46:54
Rory McIlroy rallied from 3 down Sunday to beat Lee Westwood in the semi-finals of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship and keep the world number one ranking in his sights.
Northern Ireland's McIlroy beat England's Westwood 3 and 1 to advance to a Sunday afternoon championship showdown with Hunter Mahan, who never trailed in his all-American duel against Mark Wilson and won 2 and 1.
Both McIlroy and Westwood had a chance to supplant England's Luke Donald atop the world rankings with a victory in the elite event at Dove Mountain.
Westwood seized the early advantage, winning three straight holes from the second to seize a 3 up lead.
McIlroy roared back, winning three of the next four holes to square the match, then winning the ninth to make the turn 1 up.
A fortuitous bounce on a cart path at the 11th helped McIlroy halve the 11th with a par. He then won the next two holes to go 3 up, sinking a 25-foot birdie putt at 12.
At 13 Westwood's drive into the gallery found its way into the back of a woman spectator's sweater as she ducked to protect her head as McIlroy found the green.
Westwood pulled one back at 15 -- the first hole he'd won since the fourth, but two holes later McIlroy closed it out with a par at 17.