It took 23 holes of match play golf for Australian Jason Day to be able to hoist the Walter Hagen Cup. Staying focused Sunday over the Dove Mountain course, Day won the Accenture Match Play Championship. ”I kept visualizing myself with the trophy last night. I’ve never wanted something so bad in my life.” Day said

Frenchman Victor Dubuisson used all the tricks in his arsenal seeming to take pages from the playbook of Seve Ballesteros.  Dubuisson played the magician, pulling off shot after shot from around the greens and the desert extending the Finals Match to 5 extra holes at Dove Mountain.

The match ended on the 23rd hole when Dubuisson literally got a bad bounce on the tantalizingly short par 4-15th  hole. Victor’s approach from a downhill lie to the right of the green took a bad hop, skidding 32 feet past for birdie. Day’s birdie putt was 4 feet. Match, advantage and win for Day.

Colin Swatton, Jason’s caddy, has been so much more than a caddy for the young Queenslander. The two met at the Koorallyn International Academy in Queensland some time after Jason’s father died of stomach cancer when he was just 12 years-old. It was Swatton who helped Day turn his life around after a period of rebellion. Collin encouraged Jason’s golf development eventually encouraging him to turn pro and move to the United States.  The 42 year old Swatton had a smile reflecting pride, almost father-like, in his player.

Victor Dubuisson, 23, proved he has the nerves to play at the highest level of golf. Day said of his adversary, “Vic coming down the stretch was just unbelievable. I’ve never seen someone as young, apart from Jordan Spieth, and in the old days Tiger Woods, how clutch he was, especially out of the cactus. I kept shaking my head because it was so surprising because there was a couple of times there where I thought he was absolutely dead. The tournament was mine.”

Last year it was the snow-covered fairways at Tucon’s Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain Golf Club. This year the Accenture Match Play Championship was all about golf: good, exciting-edge-of your chair golf.

Watching match play this week and the talent of the final four players only reinforces the fact that golf truly is a thinking man’s game.