MARANA // Geoff Ogilvy eased to his sixth PGA Tour title with a commanding 4&3 victory over the Briton Paul Casey in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Three up after dominating the morning round, the Australian world No 8 covered the first nine holes of the afternoon in a five-under par 31 before sealing the win with a birdie at the par-four 33rd. It was Ogilvy's third victory in a World Golf Championships (WGC) event, following his successes in the 2006 Accenture Match Play Championship and last year's CA Championship in Miami.
The Englishman Casey, who had not trailed in any of his five previous matches at Dove Mountain's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, lost the opening hole of the day to Ogilvy and never got back on level terms. "He just played excellent golf all day," Casey said. "He holed the putts when he needed to. I threw some good stuff at him this afternoon and there was no flinching." Ogilvy, who has already established a formidable reputation as a match play golfer, birdied the opening hole in the afternoon round to go four up before Casey clawed one back by sinking a six-foot birdie putt at the par-five 20th.
The Englishman appeared likely to cut the deficit to two when he coaxed in a curling 40-footer to birdie the 22nd but Ogilvy responded by holing his putt there from 15 feet. The next two holes were halved before the Australian stretched his lead to four after confidently rolling in a seven-footer to birdie the par-four 25th. Ogilvy struck a blow at the par-five 26th, hitting his second shot to six feet and knocking in the eagle putt to trump Casey's birdie there and forged five ahead.
Although Casey bogeyed the par-four 27th to trail by six, he won the par-five 29th with a conceded eagle putt and the 31st with a birdie to extend the match. After both players drove just short of the green at the 343-yard 33rd, Ogilvy chipped up to six feet and knocked in the birdie putt to seal victory. Ogilvy, who beat the American Davis Love III 3&2 to win the 2006 title at La Costa, had birdied three of the first nine holes in the morning to go four up and set the tone for the day.
Although Casey picked up form after the turn and spectacularly holed out with a six-iron from 204 yards to eagle the par-four 10th, Ogilvy's flawless six-under 66 put him in command at lunch. *Reuters