Frenchman Victor Dubuisson captured the hearts of many new fans last week after his involvement in one of the best matchplay finals I have ever seen.
The unassuming 23 year old played his part in a thrilling spectacle against Australian Jason Day when the two battled it out for the Walter Hagen trophy in Arizona. After being two down early on just after his battle with Ernie Els had finished, he managed to hang in there and had an answer for every punch that Day had to through at him, although still found himself two down with five holes left to play.
He clawed back one hole on the 16th and was still one down going down the 18th with it’s treacherous pin position awaiting both players.
Day played his approach shot first and found himself going through to the back of the green leaving a 50 foot downhill putt, Dubuisson didn’t take advantage and his approach found the left hand bunker leaving a very tough up and down. Day putted first and dribbled past the hole some 12 feet, and the Frenchman played the most exquisite bunker shot leaving it no more than 3 feet from the hole. Day missed and Dubusisson holed.
Day at this point was disgruntled and the hustle and bustle in crowd trying to get the best vantage point was causing a problem for the Australian’s concentration, but he managed to stay calm and find the fairway as did Dubuisson.
The next four holes were halved and Dubuisson was conjuring up some of the best up and downs you will ever see from the desert to Day’s amazement to which he could only smile about to his credit, but Dubuisson’s luck was finally running out and Day was able to cling on and win at the fifth extra hole.
It was a thrilling final, and played in great spirit by two young players at the top of their golf game. We will definitely be seeing more from them this season, maybe even a major win, who knows?