- Associated Press - Sunday, February 26, 2012

MARANA, ARIZ. (AP) - Hunter Mahan stopped Rory McIlroy’s march to No. 1 by winning the Match Play Championship on Sunday.

Mahan won four holes in a five-hole stretch starting with a 9-iron to 2 feet on the sixth hole, building a 4-up lead through 10 holes. Even as McIlroy threw his best stuff at him on the back nine, Mahan responded with two clutch birdies to stay in control.

Mahan won, 2 and 1, to capture his second World Golf Championship title.

“He’s the best player in the world right now,” Mahan said. “I knew he’d made a charge, and he did.”

McIlroy defeated Lee Westwood in the semifinals Sunday morning, a high-stakes match because if either of them won the Match Play Championship, they would replace Luke Donald atop the world ranking.

Mahan made sure that didn’t happen this week.

He played 96 holes in his six matches and had 35 birdies on his scorecards. Mahan defeated Mark Wilson in his semifinal match _ Wilson was his only opponent all week who had not played in a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup.

MAYAKOBA CLASSIC

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) _ John Huh parred the eighth hole of a playoff to beat Robert Allenby and win the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

The 21-year-old Huh parred all eight holes in the playoff that matched the second-longest in PGA Tour history.

Huh closed with an 8-under 65 to match Allenby at 13-under 271 on the seaside El Camaleon course. Allenby had a two-stroke lead with a hole to play in regulation, but the 40-year-old Australian drove into the trees on the right and made a double bogey.

The playoff fell three holes short of the PGA Tour record of 11 set in the 1949 Motor City Open when Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum were declared co-winners. The playoff was the fifth to go eight holes and first since the 1983 Phoenix Open.

The playoff alternated between the par-4 18th and par-3 10th.

It ended on No. 10 when Huh, seven strokes behind leader Daniel Summerhays after three rounds, chipped from the right rough to 2 1/2 feet and made his par putt. Allenby drove into the hazard on the right, chipped to 15 feet and missed his par try.

LPGA TOUR

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