Victor Dubuisson looking good for Ryder Cup

FRENCHMAN Victor Dubuisson effectively secured his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles in September after setting up a title showdown with Australian Jason Day in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Victor Dubuisson won through to contest the WGC-Accenture Match Play final. Picture: AP

Ernie Els, conqueror of Stephen Gallacher in the opening round at Dove Mountain, had been three up after just four holes in yesterday morning’s semi-final as Dubuisson made a shaky start. But the Turkish Airlines Open winner made a crucial par save from 15ft on the seventh to avoid going further behind and then birdied three of the next four holes to get back on level terms.

A par on the 12th was enough to give Dubuisson his first lead of the day as the match began to swing back and forth, the Frenchman making a mess of the 14th but holing from six feet for a birdie on the 15th to get back in front.

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Els then holed from long range on the 16th to make it all square once more, but the 2012 Open champion bogeyed the last after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker to send Dubuisson into the final.

It meant the 23-year-old was guaranteed at least £545,000, which all but wrapped up his place in Paul McGinley’s team to face the Americans in Perthshire.

“I didn’t sleep very well last night, I slept like one hour, and this morning I woke up and I realised that I was playing against Ernie Els, one of my favourite players,” the 23-year-old admitted afterwards.

“On the first tee, I shook the hand of Ernie and I wasn’t feeling comfortable. I was watching him and I was very impressed to be next to him. I was thinking of all the matches he won and the (two British) Opens.”

Day, meanwhile, was certain of achieving a career-high world ranking after moving into the final of the £5.4 million event.

Day beat American Rickie Fowler 3 & 2 and will climb to sixth in the ranking if he lost last night’s final, or fourth with a victory. The 26-year-old looked to be cruising to victory when he led by three holes with seven to play, but lost the next two to give Fowler hope of mounting a successful comeback.

However, Fowler then bogeyed the 15th after chipping across the green and into a drainage ditch and the match came to an anti-climactic end as the American three-putted the 16th from six feet.

“I knew Jason was going to be tough,” Fowler said. “He made quite a few good putts, he didn’t give me a whole lot. He missed a par putt on 12 but other than that he played solid all day. On 15 I was in a tough position, I couldn’t really make anything of it and 16 was a complete mis-read. Jason played well and he’s going to be tough to beat this afternoon.”

Day added: “I felt like I had a really good chance of having a shot of winning this week and I am really looking forward to it. I played some nice golf today so hopefully I can keep it going in the final.”