February 24 2013
MARANA, Ariz. -- Matt Kuchar has finally played his way into the title tilt at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time.
Kuchar has come close each of the last two years. He lost to eventual champ Luke Donald in the 2010 semifinals and went on to finish third when he beat Bubba Watson in the consolations.
A year ago, Kuchar was eliminated in the quarterfinals 6 and 5 by the eventual champ Hunter Mahan, the man he'll face in the championship match.
"This has been a lot of golf, and it's fun to continue to survive," Kuchar said. "... So excited to make the championship match, won five matches now, but it's a thrill. To have a chance to win the title here at the Accenture Match Play is pretty exciting."
Kuchar traied briefly when he made a bogey at the second hole. But he squared the match with a par at No. 4 and took a 1-up advantage when he rolled in a 13-footer for birdie at No. 6.
Another birdie at the eighth, this time on a 23-inch putt after Kuchar just missed the green on the par 5, put him 2 up. He and Day traded wins on the next two holes, then Kuchar went 3 up when he parred the 13th.
Kuchar closed out the match with a 5-footer for birdie at No. 15. Day's drive traveled 291 yards on the par 4 that was playing 312 but he chipped short and couldn't convert from 22 feet to extend the match.
Day, who beat two former major winners on Saturday, was disappointed but still saw the glass half-full.
"I think the whole week in itself is a positive week for myself," Day said. "I played good golf against great golfers, and I've got one more match to go against probably one of the most feared match play players."
SCORECARD STATS Kuchar made three birdies and three bogeys. Day made four bogeys and one double bogey.
HOLES WON: Kuchar won six holes. Day won three holes.
NEXT OPPONENT: Kuchar plays Hunter Mahan, who beat Ian Poulter 4 and 3 in the other semifinal. The championship match will begin at 2:15 p.m. ET (12:15 p.m. MT). Day will play Poulter in the third-place match beginning at 1:55 p.m. ET (11:55 p.m. MT).