Mahan takes command in final

DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer Published:

MARANA, Ariz. (AP) -- Hunter Mahan is moving closer to his second World Golf Championship title.

Starting with a 9-iron into 2 feet for a conceded birdie at the par-3 sixth, Mahan won three holes to take command in the final of the Match Play Championship against Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy, who defeated Lee Westwood in a semifinal match, has to win the tournament to be No. 1 in the world.

Mahan beat Mark Wilson in his semifinal match earlier Sunday.

The first five holes were halved in the championship match. Mahan won the seventh when McIlroy took two chips to reach the green, and McIlroy made bogey on the par-5 eighth.