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McIlroy Storms Into Match Play Final

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Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland chips to the eighth green during the semifinal round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on February 26, 2012 in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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MARANA, Ariz. (AP) — Rory McIlroy roared past Lee Westwood and into the final of the Match Play Championship. All that stands in his way of going to No. 1 in the world is beating Hunter Mahan.

Westwood was 3 up through four holes until the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland won four of the next five holes to take a 1-up lead to the back nine. McIlroy won the 12th hole with a 25-foot birdie putt. He went 3 up on the 13th after Westwood’s drive sailed into the gallery and came to rest in the back of a woman’s sweater.

McIlroy won, 3 and 1, with a par on the 17th.

He would have to win the 18-hole championship match to replace Luke Donald at No. 1 in the world.

In a battle of Americans, Mahan never trailed and beat Mark Wilson, 2 and 1.

(© 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)

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