McIlroy sets up Lee clash

McIlroy sets up Lee clash

Mahan takes on Wilson in other last-four match

Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood set up a mouth-watering duel in the last four of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship when they each completed comfortable victories in Saturday's quarterfinals.

Northern Ireland's world number two 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 can depose Luke Donald as world number one by winning Sunday's final, adding extra spice to their semifinal encounter on Sunday.
“This is why we practise, this is why we work so hard,” McIlroy told reporters after reaching his first Match Play semifinal in four appearances. “You want to try to beat the best.

Earlier on Saturday, Hunter Mahan crushed fellow-American Matt Kuchar 6&5 in their quarterfinal and will meet compatriot Mark Wilson, a 4&3 winner over Swede Peter Hanson. McIlroy, at 22 aiming to become the youngest ever Match Play champion, piled up six birdies to keep continual pressure on Bae, who had ousted 2010 winner Ian Poulter and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel in earlier rounds.

Westwood, who had never reached the third round in his 11 previous appearances at the event, was delighted to be in contention for one of the game's biggest titles.
Westwood, who had never trailed in his previous three matches this week, was one down after five holes before winning four of the next five to take control.

Mahan became the first player to reach the last four, making four birdies in six holes to end his match against an error-prone Kuchar at the par-five 13th.

Quarterfinal results: Lee Westwood (Bri) bt Martin Laird (Bri) 4&2; Rory McIlroy (Bri) bt Bae Sang-moon (Kor) 3&2; Mark Wilson (US) bt Peter Hanson (Swe) 4&3; Hunter Mahan (US) bt Matt Kuchar (US) 6&5.