Rory McIlroy won the WGCMatch Play crown at Harding Park in San Francisco, as he defeated American Gary Woodland 4&2 in Sunday’s final.This is his 10th US PGA Tour victory, which came on the eve of his26th birthday; only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have previouslymanaged 10 wins on the PGA Tour before the age of 26.

Itwas a long Sunday for the Northern Irishman, as he claimed three wins in oneday; the quarter-finals started late on Saturday and McIlroy’s match with PaulCasey had to be stopped and resumed at 6.45 am local time on Sunday, when healso played the semi-final against Jim Furyk, as well as the final with Woodland.

Dueto the late finish on Saturday, McIlroy also missed to see the epic fightbetween Floyd Mayweather and MannyPacquiao live in Las Vegas, as he initially planned, but had to watch it ontelevision at Harding Park.

Inthe semi – final match against Furyk, McIlroy was put under pressure; when hewas one down, with two holes remaining, he demonstrated a stunning play; hewent for birdie on the 17th and ran in a huge putt across the 18thgreen for an eagle to seal his win.

Inthe final with Woodland that followed, both players were nervous at the startand did not play their best; the world number one putted poorly, but soon stabilisedhis play and put a string of four birdies. The American, the world No 52, was erratic with his driver and could not find the fairways forhis first couple of tee-offs. Nevertheless, he improved his stroke play at thestart of the ninth, and won holes 11 and 12, but failed to put the pressure onMcIlroy when he was on the 13th, as he missed from five feet out.

Healso three-putted the 14th and made a mess of the 16th tohand his opponent the title.

The Northern Irishmanis moving on to the Players Championshipthis week with high self-belief, as he will be going for his 11thPGA Tour win. Many argue that the 21 year-old American Jordan Spieth, who lastmonth spectacularly won the Masters, is after McIlroy’s title, so the championhas to push himself harder, to remain at the top.

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