Mahan predicts great things for McIlroy

February 27, 2012
Golf - PGA - Bet Now at Bet365

Hunter Mahan hailed Rory McIlroy as the best player in the world despite foiling his bid to move to the top of the rankings by winning the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.

Mahan made the most of the US Open champion's slow start to beat him 2 & 1 in the final and claim his second World Golf Championship event.

McIlroy, who beat Lee Westwood in the semi-finals, needed to win in Arizona to move ahead of world number one Luke Donald in the standings.

But the Northern Irishman showed what he is capable of by playing his final seven holes against Mahan in five-under par and the American is in no doubt about McIlroy's present position in world golf.

Mahan said: "Deep down I wanted to postpone that crowning of the number one player in the world for Rory. He'll get there. He's phenomenal, he's really talented. He'll be number one eventually.

"It feels good (to win). I didn't realise how difficult it is to win this week because it is six matches and you're playing against the best players in the world."

Despite narrowly failing in his quest for victory, McIlroy is pleased with how his build-up is going to the first Major of the year - the US Masters - at the start of April and believes he is yet to hit top form.

McIlroy is 13/2 to win the US Masters, while Mahan can be backed at 33/1, Tiger Woods at 6/1 and Lee Westwood at 14/1.

McIlroy will play in two more events between now and Augusta, and said: "I just left myself too much to do. It wasn't to be, but I didn't have my best game with me this week.

"I'm happy with how I'm playing and hopefully it won't be long before I'm winning again. I've got two more tournaments before The Masters and that's what I'm building up to."

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