McIlroy, Westwood to duel
Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood set up a mouth--watering duel in the last four of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Arizona, when they each completed comfortable victories in Saturday’s quarter-finals. Northern Ireland’s world No. 2 McIlroy never trailed before beating South Korean Bae Sang-moon 3&2, while third-ranked Westwood won 4&2 against fellow Briton Martin Laird at Dove Mountain’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. Either McIlroy or Westwood could depose Luke Donald as world No. 1 by winning yesterday’s final, adding extra spice to their semi-final encounter yesterday morning. Earlier on Saturday, Hunter Mahan crushed fellow American Matt Kuchar 6&5 in their quarter-final and will meet compatriot Mark Wilson, a 4&3 winner over Swede Peter Hanson.
Summerhays breaks clear
Little-known American Daniel Summerhays, in pursuit of a maiden PGA Tour title, broke clear of a congested leaderboard to move two strokes in front after Saturday’s third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico. One of three leaders overnight, Summerhays fired a flawless four-under par-67 in blustery conditions on the El Camaleon course to post a 12-under total of 201. Compatriot Chris Stroud was alone in second after carding a 68, with fellow Americans Michael Allen (66) and Will Claxton (71) a further two shots back at eight under. Johnson Wagner, who won last year’s title in a playoff with fellow American Spencer Levin, carded a 71 to lie 13 strokes off the pace going into yesterday’s final round.
Lahiri barely keeps lead
India’s Anirban Lahiri endured several heart-stopping moments before defeating Thailand’s Prom Meesawat at the first play-off hole to win the SAIL-SBI Open on Saturday. The home favorite admitted he was lucky to pip Prom to the title after ending regulation play with his week’s highest score of one-over par-73 at the Delhi Golf Club. An upset appeared on the cards when Prom overcame a three-shot deficit to take a share of the lead with Lahiri from the 16th hole in regulation play. The Thai closed with a 70 for a 14-under par-274 total and headed to the play-off brimming with confidence. However, Prom’s tee shot at the first play-off hole found the bushes on the right and he had to take a penalty because of an unplayable lie. Lahiri hit a good tee shot and managed to reach the green in three. He came within three feet for his birdie putt. Prom then decided to pick up his ball and concede defeat. Taiwan’s Hsu Chia finished tied for 38th on two-over 290, while Chan Shih-chang was tied for 63rd place four shots further back.
Evans wins slam-dunk test
Utah’s Jeremy Evans won the slam-dunk contest at the NBA’s All-Star in Orlando, Florida, in Saturday night festivities. Evans, who got into the competition as a replacement for injured New York guard Iman Shumpert, earned 29 percent of 3 million text message votes cast by fans. This was the first year that fans had total control of voting, a major tweak from past competitions. Evans earned the win over Houston’s Chase Budinger, Indiana’s Paul George and Minnesota’s Derrick Williams. Evans dunked with a camera on his head, dunked two basketballs while jumping over a seated assistant and then donned a Karl Malone jersey while dunking over mailman-dressed comedian Kevin Hart. This year’s contest lasted three rounds, but the four participants had only two minutes per round to complete a single dunk.