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World Match Play Championship: Sam Burns wins title as Rory McIlroy loses semi-final

American Sam Burns won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship after Rory McIlroy suffered a dramatic semi-final defeat earlier on Sunday.

McIlroy was beaten by American Cameron Young in a sudden-death extra hole, having been two up with three to play and one up starting the 18th in Texas.

Young levelled with a pressure putt on the 18th and then clinched the match with birdie on the first extra hole.

But the 15th seed was easily beaten 6&5 by compatriot Burns in the final.

Thirteenth seed Burns, 26, upset world number one Scottie Scheffler in a similarly tight semi-final which required three additional holes.

Against Young he fell one down on the second but dominated the match afterwards with a run of eight birdies in 10 holes from the fourth.

Young found the water on 12 and 13 as he aggressively looked to reduce his deficit before the pair shook hands on the 13th green.

“What a week,” said Burns, who sealed his fifth win on the PGA Tour. “I am so tired.

“He didn’t play best stuff but it was a great match. I felt like I found something at the end of my match with Scottie.”

McIlroy recovered by beating Scheffler 2&1 in third-place play-off.

Despite semi-final defeat, his strong week comes 10 days before The Masters in Augusta begins on 6 April.

“A tonne of positives to take away,” said McIlroy, who is playing with a new putter and driver shaft. “Scottie and I are both disappointed we lost our matches this morning.

“If you had have told me I’d make it to the Sunday of the match play last week I’d have taken that.”

The two surprise semi-final results denied the tournament the McIlroy-Scheffler final many anticipated throughout the week and for much of their semi-finals.

Against McIlroy, Young made birdie on 16 before holing a seven-foot putt on the 18th to square the match.

Northern Ireland’s McIlroy failed to capitalise on a fortunate break when the pair replayed the 12th hole – his wayward tee shot found a flat lie while Young’s landed up against the edge of the bunker – and then missed a 10-foot putt after Young, who has never won on the PGA Tour, had made his.

Scheffler was three down early on after his good friend Burns started with three birdies but responded with four of his own in five holes which had him two up by the 10th.

But in a fine match, 13th seed Burns levelled again on the 16th and put himself in front with a perfect tee shot on the par three 17th, only for defending champion Scheffler to birdie the 18th to tie the match.

Scheffler had won his last 10 matches in the tournament but, after they both birdied the 19th hole and made par on the next, a 15-foot putt on the 21st proved decisive from Burns.

That secured his place in the final, where he secured one of the biggest wins of his career.

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