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Mahan defeats McIlroy in Match Play Finale

Hunter Mahan stopped Rory McIlroy's march to No. 1 by winning the Match Play Championship on Sunday.

Mahan won, 2 and 1, to capture his second World Golf Championship title.

McIlroy defeated Lee Westwood in the semifinals Sunday morning, a high-stakes match because if either of them won the Match Play Championship, they would replace Luke Donald atop the world ranking.

Mahan put paid to that idea holding off the rampaging McIlroy who threw everything at him on the back nine, but was unable to overhaul him as the American responded with two clutch birdies to hold on.

"I felt great with my game coming in," he said. "Rory is a great player, the best in the world right now. I knew he was going to make a charge and I'm pretty pleased with the way I held on."

"I knew that might be the toughest thing for me,'' McIlroy said. "I knew that if I got through, I had to get myself up for the final. That's not an excuse. He was solid as ever. He's a deserving champion.''

Mahan became the first American to win the Match Play Championship since Tiger Woods in 2008.

He became only the sixth player to win multiple WGC titles, joining Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Darren Clarke.

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