Westwood to face McIlroy
Big guns face-up in Match Play semis, Americans in other half of draw
Last Updated: February 25, 2012 11:31pm
Shoot-out: Westwood and McIlroy will battle it out in Arizona
Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood both secured comfortable victories to set-up a mouth-watering semi-final clash at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.
The Ryder Cup team-mates are also fighting it out for the world number one spot in the rankings and will play out arguably the biggest match in tournament history in Arizona on Sunday.
An all -American semi-final will supply the tournament's other finalist, with Mark Wilson going up against Hunter Mahan after they were both commanding winners on Saturday.
Wilson was a solid 4&3 winner over an out-of-sorts Peter Hanson, who struggled to find a fairway for most of the day, while Mahan was an even bigger winner as he beat fellow American Matt Kuchar 6&5.
(USA unless stated):
Peter Hanson (Swe) lost to Mark Wilson 4 & 3
Matt Kuchar lost to Hunter Mahan 6 & 5
Rory McIlroy (NIrl) bt Bae Sang-moon (Prk) 4 & 2
Lee Westwood (Eng) bt Martin Laird (Sco) 4 & 2
McIlroy 3&2 victory over Korean Bae Sang-moon made him the third man into the semi-finals, and Westwood soon joined him as he glided to a 4&2 success over Scotsman Martin Laird.
All eyes will no doubt be on the Northern Irishman and Englishman who are fighting for the Match Play title but also both chasing Luke Donald's world number one spot.
"We've played a lot together, I hope it's a great match and I hope we both play well and make lots of birdies," said Westwood after sealing his spot against McIlroy.
The US Open champion was also looking forward to the upcoming European battle.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It's the match I wanted when I went out there this morning, I wanted to win my match and I wanted Lee to win his and I think it's the match everybody wanted to see.
"It should be a great battle out there and I know I'm going to have to play my best to beat him."
After overcoming Celtic Manor team-mates Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker in the first and third rounds Mahan sent another - world number 14 Kuchar - on his way home by a thumping 6&5 margin.
Kuchar, third in the event last year, was a shadow of the player who had knocked out fourth seed Martin Kaymer the day before.
There was to be no comeback from Hanson. He had his third bogey in five holes at the 14th and was shaking hands on the next green when Wilson matched his birdie three to clinch a 4&3 victory.
Mahan admitted he was surprised at how poorly Kuchar played given "the level of game he has", while the short-hitting Wilson commented: "They talk about it being a bomber's course, but you have to hit it straight too."