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Monday, May 4, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Around the wider world of golf: Inbee Park won the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout on the LPGA; Ian Woosnam got his first win on the Champions Tour at the Insperity Invitational; and Smylie Kaufman got his first Web.com Tour win at the United Leasing Championship. The Lexus Panama Classic on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has been weather-delayed and will be completed today.

Rory with Match Play trophy

When I wrote in yesterday's post that Paul Casey was barely alive -- because he still had to finish Saturday's playoff with Rory McIlroy -- I didn't expect it to be quite so prophetic. I noticed during the post-round interview Saturday night that Casey was wiping his nose a lot, but I thought it was just the cold damp weather. Instead, the bug that kept him up all night vomiting probably cost him a chance at the Match Play title.

Just as well, I suppose, as he would be unlikely to have lasted the day. An early start to finish the previous day's playoff, then two more full rounds would have probably been too much for him.

Of course, although the rapid finish to the playoff may have spared McIlroy a few holes against Casey, it still got him up in the middle of the night for a long day against two other tough opponents. And those opponents -- Jim Furyk and Gary Woodland -- made him work. HARD.

In some ways Rory got very lucky this week. His game from tee to green wasn't particularly sharp during any round. His drives were a bit wild and his distance control on his approach shots was pretty bad. He got several good bounces that at least gave him a chance at recovery shots. Perhaps most importantly, even if his opponents had been on a hot streak before meeting him in battle, their games became noticeably inconsistent during their rounds against him.

Not that I'm saying Rory won because he was lucky -- far from it. When Rory got lucky breaks, he capitalized on them most of the time with great recovery shots. And even when a shot didn't come off quite as planned, he still left himself in a playable position. Most of all, regardless of how much he might struggle tee to green, his short game was immaculate all week and his putting was spot on. When he needed to get the ball in the hole, he put it in. How many times did he go to the 16th hole down in his match and still pull out a win? That's not all luck, not by a long shot!

So Rory picks up his 10th PGA Tour win -- and his 2nd WGC win -- before turning 26, once again putting him in the rarified air breathed by Tiger and Jack. And I'm not entirely sure how many Limerick Summaries this makes, but I know he's the leader in that category for sure:
A playoff plus two rounds in one rush;
Play three guys in one day? That’s too much!
But Paul caught a virus
Then the Luck of the Irish
With Rory’s skills left all their dreams crushed.
The photo came from the tournament page at worldgolfchampionships.com.

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