Altvater: Victor Dubuisson amazes golf fans at WGC-Accenture Match PlayWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Captain Paul McGinley’s European Ryder Cup team added another great young player to his already strong roster. With his runner-up finish at the WGC-Accenture Match Play, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson announced himself as a serious match play specialist.
The Europeans have had the Americans number in recent years, winning seven of the last nine Ryder Cups. Dubuisson will be a nice addition to an already strong European team.
Dubuisson, just 23 years old, has only played in four events previously on the PGA Tour. In three starts this season, he only had one top-25 finish and earned $155,000.
He made a lot more than that this week. The $905,000 second-place check will put him over $1 million for the year and earn him a full PGA Tour membership.
He also garnered a ton of new fans in the U.S. with his swashbuckling, Houdini-like style of golf.
Dubuisson’s phenomenal par saves from the cacti and desert flora made believers of every golf fan. He rebounded from three-down to Jason Day and forced the final match to 23 holes before Day eventually prevailed.
Sometimes when you lose, your really win.
That is exactly what will happen for Dubuisson. He will be deluged with offers to play in PGA Tour events and endorse everything from shaving cream to deodorant.
No Frenchman has ever won on the PGA Tour. Jean Van de Velde finished runner-up at the 2000 Reno-Tahoe Open and is famous for his debacle at the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie.
There was no rifle-dropping by this feisty Frenchman. He dispatched Kevin Streelman, Peter Hanson, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els, before running into Day in the finals.
Two-down and facing elimination from the desert scrub beside the 17th green, Dubuisson miraculously chipped onto the green, made the putt to save par and win the hole.
Day still led by one hole standing on the 18th tee and once again Dubuisson missed the green and found himself under a dead branch, in the rocks and buried near some nasty desert fauna.
After a lash with a wedge the ball rolled up onto the green and Dubuisson won the hole and forced the match to extra holes.
His performance earned him comparisons to the late Seve Ballesteros, whose remarkable short game earned him five major championships and a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Dubuisson eventually lost to Day, but made millions of new golf fans around the world and France has gained a new sports icon.
Tags: Bubba Watson, Ernie Els, Fred Altvater, Graeme McDowell, Jason Day, Jean Van de Velde, Kevin Streelman, Paul McGinley, Peter Hanson, Ryder Cup, Seve Ballesteros, The Back Nine, Victor Dubuisson, WGC-Accenture Match Play