Mahan holds off McIlroy to win Match Play
MARANA, Ariz. - Hunter Mahan stopped Rory McIlroy's march to No. 1 by winning the Match Play Championship on Sunday. Mahan won four holes in a five-hole stretch starting with a 9-iron to 2 feet on the sixth hole, building a 4-up lead through 10 holes. Even as McIlroy threw his best stuff at him on the back nine, Mahan responded with two clutch birdies to stay in control. Mahan won, 2 and 1, to capture his second World Golf Championship title. "He's the best player in the world right now," Mahan said. "I knew he'd made a charge, and he did."McIlroy defeated Lee Westwood in the semifinals Sunday morning, a high-stakes match because if either of them won the Match Play Championship, they would replace Luke Donald atop the world ranking. Mahan made sure that didn't happen this week. He played 96 holes in his six matches and had 35 birdies on his scorecards. Mahan defeated Mark Wilson in his semifinal match — Wilson was his only opponent all week who had not played in a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup. McIlroy, who made seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch Sunday morning to beat Westwood, couldn't muster any magic in the afternoon. He missed a 4-foot par putt that would have won the opening hole, then fell behind with a series of mistakes. PGA: John Huh parred the eighth hole of a playoff with Robert Allenby to win the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Making his fifth PGA Tour start, Huh parred all eight holes in the playoff that matched the second-longest in tour history. The 21-year-old Huh closed with an 8-under 65 to match Allenby at 13-under 271 on the seaside El Camaleon course. Allenby had a two-stroke lead with a hole to play in regulation, but the 40-year-old Australian closed with a double bogey. The playoff fell three holes short of the PGA Tour record of 11 set in the 1949 Motor City Open when Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum were declared co-winners. The playoff was the fifth to go eight holes and first since the 1983 Phoenix Open. LPGA: Angela Stanford won the HSBC Women's Champions on the third playoff hole, her first victory since 2009 and her fifth on the LPGA Tour. The 34-year-old Texan parred the last playoff hole, beating South Koreans Jenny Shin and Na Yeon Choi and China's Shanshan Feng. Stanford, who earned $210,000 for the victory, was in a four-way tie at 10-under 278 after 72 holes.