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New World Number One makes a big statement ahead of Augusta National

Jason Day won the WGC-Dell Match Play for the second time in three years with a 5 and 4 victory over Louis Oosthuizen in the final at Austin Country Club.

Day’s short game had been in brilliant shape all week and proved to be his most potent weapon on Sunday as he first defeated defending champion Rory McIlroy in the semi-finals and then overcame Oosthuizen, who like Day had a 100 per cent record coming into the final.

Oosthuizen had beaten Rafa Cabrera Bello in his semi-final, and the 52nd seed topped off a week that had seen him qualify for the Masters Tournament by beating McIlroy in the consolation match to finish third.

But the star of the show was Day, who overcame a back injury suffered on Wednesday to win his third European Tour title, and he will move back to Number One in the Official World Golf Ranking.

For South African Oosthuizen, it was a continuation of the fine form that saw him win the ISPS HANDA Perth International last month, for a player who had made the quarter-finals in the past two years at this event.

Oosthuizen played the first beautifully, leaving himself 12 feet for birdie and while he missed that putt, a Day bogey moved him one up.

However, his second on the third hole resulted in a drop and Day was back on level terms before the Australian put his tee-shot on the fourth to 11 feet and made the birdie to move ahead.

It was advantage Oosthuizen after the tee shots on the seventh but the 2010 Open Championship winner needed three from just off the edge and a Day par extended the lead to two.

Both men parred the eighth but an approach to seven feet yielded another Day birdie on the ninth and the lead was three as they headed to the back nine.

That brilliant iron play continued and approaches to six and three feet on the 13th and 14th brought two further birdies and sealed the win.

“When you have the short game on, especially around here, you can definitely go low.” Day won the last Major Championship of 2015 at the US PGA Championship and is now aiming to make it two in a row when the Masters gets under way at Augusta National on April 7.

Cabrera-Bello and McIlroy had been involved in a nip-and-tuck battle in the consolation match before the Spaniard won the 14th, 15th and 16th for a 3 and 2 win.


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