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McIlroy, Westwood, Wilson and Mahan make up WGC-Accenture’s Final Four

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By Seth Kerr

GolfWRX Staff Writer

Fans, NBC executives, and tournament officials had to be praying Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy won their quarterfinal matches at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. Let’s face it, Sung-Moon Bae and Martin Laird don’t have quite the same pizzazz as McIlroy and Westwood facing each other in the semifinals.

Well, everyone will get their wish as both Westwood and McIlroy won to set up a semifinal match. The winner will have the chance to reach No. 1 with a victory in the finals.

Westwood said: “I’ve been at No. 1 couple of times. It would be a different way of thinking to me compared to Rory, who hasn’t been No. 1. He may be thinking about it, but my main goal is to play well or play as well as I’ve been playing — tomorrow morning and try and win that match.”

Martin Laird ended Westwood’s streak of not trailing this week by winning the first hole of the match with a 7-foot birdie putt. Laird did little else in the match, quickly falling three behind after bogeying four of five holes between Nos. 6 to 10. By winning on No. 16, Westwood continued his streak of not having to play the 18th hole in a match. Westwood is looking to become the third player, Luke Donald (2011) and Tiger Woods (2003), to win the championship without playing the final hole.

“Hopefully I can keep playing the way I’ve been playing,” Westwood said. “I felt very solid and I’m not giving much away.”

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy beat Bae 3 and 2. McIlroy never trailed, making six birdies including three of the par-5s.

“I didn’t make many mistakes,” McIlroy said. “I played the par 5s a lot better, which definitely helped.”

Adding intrigue to the match between McIlroy and Westwood is both players used to share Chubby Chandler as their manager before McIlroy dumped him at the end of last year. Westwood criticized the move on Twitter, causing McIlroy to “unfollow” Westwood and Chandler on Twitter (I wonder what Ben Hogan and Sam Snead would think about a Twitter spat).

While both players downplay any feud to the public, it appears the friendship they used to have is gone.

“I think it’s the match that most people wanted, and definitely the match that I wanted,” McIlroy said.

Westwood said that he and McIlroy don’t spend as much time together as they did when we were in the same management group, but he called that understandable.

“Rory doesn’t want to spend time with the people that manage me, and I don’t want to spend time with the people that manage Rory,” Westwood said.

Does that sound all that friendly to you? Didn’t think so.

The second semifinal features Americans Hunter Mahan and Mark Wilson. You have to figure Wilson is comfortable with all the attention going to Westwood and McIlroy as fans and media alike continue to overlook him.

Wilson beat Peter Hansen 4 and 3, never trailing in the match and winning four of the last six holes for the victory. Wilson has not played either Nos. 17 or 18 this week and would be the first player ever to win without playing the final two holes of a match.

Hunter Mahan figures to have something to say about that after his convincing win over Matt Kuchar 6 and 5. While Mahan played solid, Kuchar self destructed, making five bogeys and not winning a single hole. Kuchar missed six putts from inside 12-feet and three-putted two holes on the front side.

“My putting let me down,” Kuchar said. “I think it really came down to putting. I think if I had putted well, I was in the match.”

Mahan didn’t make a birdie until the eighth hole but by that time he already had a 4-up lead due to Kuchar’s poor play.

“Matt couldn’t find the putter today, which is rare for him, because he’s a great putter,” Mahan said. “I got lucky in that aspect. But I played solid, didn’t make any bogeys and didn’t give many holes — and kept the pressure on him.”

PING figures to be especially happy about the results this week as Mahan, Westwood, and Wilson all play Ping products.

Semifinal and final coverage begins on The Golf Channel at 9 a.m. EST and continue until 1:00 p.m. NBC then picks up coverage from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Seth is an avid golfer playing year round in Florida.

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Photos from the Web.com 2018 North Mississippi Classic

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GolfWRX is live today from the Web.com Tour’s 2018 North Mississippi Classic at the Country Club of Oxford.

Notables in the field this week include Stuart Appleby, Charlie Beljan, Zac Blair, Sam Burns, Roberto Castro, Erik Compton, Ken Duke, Tommy Gainey, Jason Gore, Ben Kohles, Dru Love, Daniel Summerhays, Willy Wilcox and more.

Check out all of the photos below from today at the North Miss. Classic!

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Discussion Thread: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos

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10 interesting photos from Wednesday at the Valero Texas Open

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Welcome to 10 Interesting Photos (10IP? No? OK). It’s the final day of tune up ahead of the Valero Texas Open, which is, fun fact, the third longest-running (non major) tournament on the PGA Tour.

We got an in-hand look at The Tank, K.J. Choi’s weaponry, as well a four general galleries and some of the coolest custom stamped wedges you’ll see, c/o JT Poston.

Let’s take a look at the photos!

First up, some more love-em-or-hate-em Jordans from Keegan Bradley

Amid a pretty standard bag, an impressive Pingman putter cover

JT Poston, AKA, The Postman’s, 60 degree, ladies and gentlemen

Vintage X Hot sighting!

Kevin Chappell with the coveted Miura and Fourteen combo

K.J. Choi’s putter shaft! (AMI Stability?)

Scott Piercy remains the king of lead tape on Tour

K>J. Choi is gaming Ping G400 irons

And look at the face on (one of) his Ping putter(s)

Keith Mitchell’s Mizuno “MIZ” pom-pom headcover, though

 

Check out all our photos from Wednesday the 2018 Valero Texas Open below!

Wednesday’s Photos

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 Valero Texas Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), which plays as a par-72 measuring 7,435 yards for the event.

Sergio Garcia acted as a consultant to Greg Norman for the course’s 2010 design, and he’ll play in the event for the first time in seven years. Joining Garcia in the field are a number of the game’s top players, including Wesley Bryan, Keegan Bradley, Kevin Chappell, Luke Donald, Harris English, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, J.B. Holmes, Billy Horschel, Charley Hoffman, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez, Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker, Jimmy Walker and more.

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Last year, Chappell holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to win by one stroke over Brooks Koepka to capture his first ever PGA Tour victory.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Valero Texas Open below!

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