Accenture Match Play 2012: Analyzing the Final Four Players

Daniel ZhuContributor IFebruary 26, 2012

Accenture Match Play 2012: Analyzing the Final Four Players

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    Alright, alright, ladies and gentlemen.

    After four days of riveting match play, it all comes down to this.

    Only four players are left standing at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, but only two can clash for the trophy.

    Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Mark Wilson, and Hunter Mahan will battle it out in the desert of Arizona.

    With these top players all in contention, and the World No.1 ranking hanging in the balance, this year's WGC Match Play event ought to be a compelling drama that will have all our eyes peeled open.

Rory McIlroy

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    The 22-year-old superstar has made it to the semifinals of the WGC Match Play event for the first time in his career.

    With a chance to take home the trophy and be crowned World No.1 with a victory, there's a lot at stake here for McIlroy.

    Overall, his previous four matches have shown what an all around player he is. His long and accurate driving, great iron play, and decent putting has put him in the hunt.

    He beat George Coetzee in the first round with a two up victory, and came back on Thursday and took care of business with a 3-and-2 victory over Anders Hansen. He dispatched the 48-year-old Miguel A. Jimenez in the third round, and defeated Sang-Moon Bae in the quarterfinals, 3-and-2.

    McIlroy will go against top ranked player Lee Westwood in his semifinal match on Sunday, which should be interesting.

Lee Westwood

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    Its hard to find any weaknesses in his game this week, as he's played absolutely solid golf in his matches.

    His irons look solid, his driving is accurate, and he's a steady putter on the greens.

    What's improved the most seems to be his short game.

    Westwood has zeroed in his wedges, as well as his chipping and pitching to near perfection. With this improvement comes another formidable asset he can bring to the ball game in his match against McIlroy today.

    Lee also has the opportunity to regain his World No.1 ranking with a win here this week, so there is something a little extra to motivate him to play even better.

Hunter Mahan

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    Hunter Mahan has played superb golf this week in Arizona.

    His long game was steady and his short game was equally impressive, not to mention his putting.

    His new putter seems to be working well for him--he's used the flat stick to dispatch some of the top-seeded golfers in the world.

    Mahan sent Zach Johnson packing early in the first round after he won the match in extra holes. In the second round, he took care of Y.E. Yang, winning 5-and-3.

    He really started playing well when he steamrolled through Friday's round with a 4-and-3 victory over the veteran Steve Stricker, and completely decimated Matt Kutchar with a 6-and-5 victory in the quarterfinals.

    Now, he's battling Mark Wilson in the semifinals.  If he can get all cylinders firing, Mahan has a great chance to win the WGC Accenture Match Play.

Mark Wilson

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    There's no doubt that Mark Wilson is a steady player.

    He showed us that this week with his stellar play against some of the world's best golfers.

    Wilson's relatively short-yet-accurate driving served him well so far at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. He's hitting his irons pure, and his short game is above par as well.

    It may seem he's at a disadvantage when the rest of the semifinalists are long hitters off the tee, but he showed the golfing world that he wasn't afraid of the long bombers in his third match.

    Wilson easily triumphed over the long-hitting Dustin Johnson with a victory of 4-and-3, so long hitters won't be much of a threat to him.

    Overall, if he can keep up his stellar play against Hunter Mahan, Wilson has a decent shot at winning this week's match play event.