Match play epics down the years

The Scoop

With match play fever in the air, Quick 9 runs down some of the greatest ever battles between the best of the best

There is something special about when players go head-to-head in a match play battle.

We have become so used to watching professionals compete in stroke play events week in, week out, so it makes a refreshing change when they slug out in a do-or-die battle of wits.

Reputations are on the line, as well as a share of $9.75 million in prize money, as a host of stars compete at the WGC-Match Play Championship at Austin Country Club in Texas.

They will have their work cut out in order to emulate some of the epic match play contests from down the years.

Quick 9 takes a look back at some of golf’s greatest match play victories, including some record-breaking showdowns…

Tiger Woods vs. Stewart Cink

Tiger Woods inked another record in golf’s history books when he swept aside Stewart Cink in 2008 for his third Match Play title.

His 8&7 win is the largest margin of victory ever in the tournament’s final.

Ian Poulter/Rory McIlroy vs. Zach Johnson/Jason Dufner

Who can forget this one? Europe were looking dead on their feet as they slumped to a 10-5 deficit. Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy were the final group left that could salvage a point for Europe heading into the final day.

Europe’s “postman” Poulter birdied the last five holes to reduce the deficit to 10-6 and give Europe a glimmer of hope.

Europe went on to retain the Ryder Cup in a dramatic final-day turnaround.

Jeff Maggert vs. Andrew Magee

Jeff Maggert and Andrew Magee were hardly the marquee names everyone wanted in the final of the inaugural WGC-Match Play Championship in 1999, then a 36-hole event.

However, the duo produced one of the finest contests to date, slugging it out over 38 holes before Maggert finally came out on top. Maggert was three down as late as the 20th hole in the 36-hole shootout, but recovered before chipping in from the fringe behind the green on the second extra hole to take the win.

Quick 9 continues on the next page with an epic tussle from the ’60s and another Tiger masterclass…

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