San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland won their semifinal matches on Sunday and will face each other in the final match at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.
McIlroy, who finished off Paul Casey in their quarterfinal match earlier Sunday, took down Jim Furyk, 1-up, in their semifinal match. McIlroy won the final two holes at TPC Harding Park against Furyk to advance.
Woodland overcame an early deficit to topple Danny Willett, 3 & 2. Woodland will go for his third PGA Tour win on Sunday. The victory would easily be his biggest on tour.
After a pair of halves, Furyk and McIlroy traded bogeys at three and four. McIlroy rolled in 4-footer for birdie at the fifth to grab a 1-up lead. Furyk squared things up as he poured in a 19-footer for birdie at No. 9.
McIlroy, the 2012 runner-up, ran in a long birdie try at 11 to even the match again. Furyk made a mess of the 12th to fall 1-down, but converted a 5-footer for birdie on the 13th to square things up.
Furyk, who lost in the quarterfinals last year, again moved 1-up thanks to a 10-foot birdie putt on the 15th. Both players birdied the short 16th, then McIlroy made his move. He stuffed his tee shot at the par-3 17th within four feet and he converted that chance for birdie to even the match once again.
At the par-5 18th, McIlroy found the green with his second, while Furyk came up short of the green in the left rough. Furyk chipped to 26 feet, but never hit the putt.
McIlroy poured in his 44-footer for eagle and the win. McIlroy trailed on the 16th hole, or later, for the second straight match and third time in his last four matches this week.
"When I went 1-down on 15, I sort of said to myself, 'I've been in this position before.' So, I've gained confidence from the previous matches," said McIlroy. "I felt like the last three holes setup well for me, compared to Jim, with my length. Being able to maybe hit it on the green at 16 and have a bit of a shorter iron into 17. The confidence has built from all those matches I've played this week, and thankfully into the final from it."
Willett, who is making his first appearance at this championship, got up and down for birdie on the par-5 first to grab an early 1-up lead. Woodland made a mess of the fourth and conceded the hole to fall 2-down.
Woodland, who lost in the first round in his only two appearances in 2012 and 2014, drained a 31-footer for birdie at six and made it two in a row as he also birdied the seventh to square the match.
Willett missed a 4-foot par putt at the eighth to drop 1-down. The duo traded birdies at 12 and 13. Willett 3-putted for bogey from 23 feet out on the 14th to drop 2-down.
After they halved the 15th, Woodland dropped in a 15-footer for birdie at the 16th to close out the match.
"I got off to a good start hitting-the-ball-wise, I just didn't make any putts. To see the ball go in on six, which was nice from where I was, and then I just carried that momentum all day," Woodland said. "I played really solid on the back nine."