Victor Dubuisson’s match play prowess was on full display in his debut at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship even though he was denied victory by Australia’s Jason Day on Sunday.
The Frenchman’s battling performance will be a huge boost for Team Europe when they face-off against Team Asia at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27 to 29.
Dubuisson’s performance drew comparisons with the late Seve Ballesteros for his never say never attitude which will be something Miguel Angel Jimenez, the captain for Team Europe, hopes to leverage on.
Dubuisson edged out South African Ernie Els one up in the semi-final before taking on Day, who beat Rickie Fowler 3&2 in the other last-four clash.
Day looked set for victory at two up with two to play, but Dubuisson fought back in sublime fashion with up-and-downs from the sand on 17 and 18 to win both holes.
The 23-year-old kept the match alive with miraculous shots from cacti following errant approaches on the first two extra holes, saving par both times, and had a 20 foot putt to win on the 22nd, which came up agonisingly short.
His short game was magnificent all day, but on the 23rd hole his chip from thick rough ran way past the flag, and Day’s par was enough to clinch the title.
En-route to the final Dubuisson had to defeat a host of stars including EurAsia Cup teammate Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland in the semi-final.
EurAsia Cup Team Asia’s captain Thongchai Jaidee and reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat were defeated in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship by Webb Simpson and Henrik Stenson respectively.