Victor Dubuisson won the 17th and 18th holes to force a playoff, got up and down from the desert on the 19th and 20th holes (sending twitter into a frenzy), before finally falling to Jason Day on the 23rd hole of the match. Day earned his second career win with birdie at #15, the short par-4, chipping his second shot close and making birdie as Dubuisson was not able to match after he caught a nasty lie for his second shot. Although not victorious, Dubuisson was a revelation to the broad viewing audience, showing bountiful game, oodles of touch and imagination around the green, and of course that world-class head of hair. People will remember this tournament for his crazy escapes from behind and under cacti to keep the match alive–see GIF’s below (courtesy of Adam Sarson).
His first up and down on the 19th hole:
The next one on the 20th (along with Jason Day’s awesome reaction):
As mentioned above, twitter went absolutely bananas as Dubuisson was blasting through cacti, banking balls off camera cords, and calmly rolling in the subsequent par putts:
Dubuisson just hit a tougher shot than the one I played off Larson's foot. What a shot *golf clap*
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) February 23, 2014
Stuck behind a jumping cholla?? No big deal for V-Dubs — sticks it to about 3.5 feet. Unreal! #legend
— Stephanie Wei (@StephanieWei) February 23, 2014
Take THAT Bill Haas!
— Matt Ginella (@MattGinellaGC) February 23, 2014
Get that man a croissant!!!! #TourSauce
— Heath Beasley (@Hbeaz15) February 23, 2014
Blah ha… Outta the catcus. Long hair don't care.. Who cares about this TV wire. Up and down for par.
— Jason Dufner (@JasonDufner) February 23, 2014
This guy is a freak. Day is LOLing.
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) February 23, 2014
WAAAAAAAAT are we watching?
— Alex Nicholson (@AlexPGAPro) February 23, 2014
This is just getting ridiculous. #Dubuisson
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) February 23, 2014
haha this is good stuff
— Bud Cauley (@BudCauley) February 23, 2014
Can't be. Just can't.
— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) February 23, 2014
Those may be the two best escape shots I've ever seen. Allez Victor. #rydercup2014
— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) February 23, 2014
Piping Hot Takeaways
1) Victor Dubuisson has been on our radar for awhile now, and it was great to see him announce himself on one of golf’s biggest stages. This led our own Tron to wonder:
How are the French so shitty at golf? Is it just because they view it as such a bourgeois sport? They’re a huge population of relatively middle class peeps who like sports. They should have more prominent golfers. And Dubuisson is a stud. The only two guys who are ahead of him in the world rank AND younger than him are Spieth and Matsuyama!
2) It was great to watch an entire final round and know that I was going to be pleased with whomever ended up being the winner. Instead of having to watch Bubba drop #TourSauce all over the yard, or root against some no-name schwaldo destined for our No-Fly list, I saw three ‘kids’ with crazy amounts game, plus major-winner and seasoned vet Ernie Els, do battle all day long. A very pleasurable, rewarding Sunday as a fan and viewer.
3) Also very nice to see Rickie Fowler bust out of a slump and earn a 3rd place finish and some major OWGR points. His conquests went: match-play-savant Ian Poulter, Hottest-Player-on-the-Planet Jimmy Walker, Top-10-player-in-the world Sergio Garcia, and veteran slowpoke Jim Furyk before losing to eventual champion Jason Day (then defeating Ernie Els for 3rd place). His struggles concurrent to implementing significant swing changes have been well documented, but his poor results were more a result of putting than ball striking. Hopefully this week instills extra confidence in the new swing, and some trust for “The Process.” In general, I feel like the hate has gone too far on Rickie. Yes, he’s “overhyped” compared to a lot of guys in his class of talent, but he’s not “all style, no substance” as some would suggest. The kid can flat out play, and he’s a classy guy as well. We’re rooting for him.
4) After what we just watched, it’s hard to suggest changing the match play, but we’re gonna try (credit to Fil for this idea):
I think the following could potentially get the competitive juices going a bit and add much-needed intrigue/drama to the Match Play:
Seed the field 1 to 64 as is currently the case. Conduct practice rounds and whatever else is regularly scheduled on Monday and Tuesday. Then Tuesday evening gather all the players into a conference room at the clubhouse and fill out the bracket in a two-hour, Golf Channel live primetime extravaganza.
The twist is to let the players place their names on the bracket in order of their seeding. So the #1 seed goes first and places his name on the blank board. Then the #2 seed follows placing his name anywhere in the now 63 open slots, then the #3 seed, etc etc.
It will most likely follow a regularly seeded bracket through the first 32 picks or so, but after that it would get really interesting as guys begin going after who they want (Hell, I’d love to see some chutzpah from a top seed who goes after another top seed early). So all of a sudden the matches on Wednesday offer instant storylines with low seeds ‘wanting’ to play certain guys, high seeds perhaps feeling disrespected, and maybe a matchup of a couple top seeds sprinkled in.
How Our Picks Fared
- Day – WINNER
- Mahan – T9
- Simpson – T9
- Kuchar – T9
- McIlroy – T17
- Poulter – T33
Our first non-Jimmy Walker WIN of the year is our 3rd total. And although guys are guaranteed a T33 at worst just by participating, we’ll willfully ignore that, dap ourselves for placing all picks within the top-35, and call it a great week!
We bid adieu to the west coast and head cross-country to Florida for the Honda Classic. The Honda has quietly yotto’d the last few years and is now finds itself one of the most prestigious events (non-major, non-WGC category) of all regular Tour stops. Stacked field, challenging course, and primo location for many pros promise another great week of action ahead of us.