Hunter Mahan beat Rory McIlroy in the final of the World Match Play Championship for his fourth title on golf’s U.S. PGA Tour.
Mahan’s 2-and-1 win at the Ritz-Carlton’s Dove Mountain course in Marana, Arizona, prevented the second-ranked McIlroy from replacing Luke Donald as world No. 1.
Mahan, 29, is the first U.S. player to claim the title since Tiger Woods won for a third time in 2008. Today’s final was the first between a European and an American since Steve Stricker defeated Pierre Fulke of Sweden in the title match 11 years ago.
Mahan’s first win on the PGA Tour came at the Travelers Championship in 2007. He also won the Phoenix Open and Bridgestone Invitational two years ago.
McIlroy was seeking to become the fifth European and second golfer from Northern Ireland after Darren Clarke in 2000 to win the World Match Play title. A victory for McIlroy would have been the third straight for the U.K. at the event, which was won by Englishman Donald and Ian Poulter the past two years.
McIlroy, at 22 years, nine months and 22 days, was seeking to become the second-youngest golfer to top the Official World Golf Ranking after Woods, who was 21 years, five months and 17 days old when he first achieved the feat on June 15, 1997.