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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 00:41 GMT
Sutherland claims $1m Match Play title
Sutherland eyes up a putt during his clash with McCarron
Sutherland was rescued by strong putting
Kevin Sutherland won the Accenture WGC Match Play golf title by beating fellow American and close friend Scott McCarron by one hole.

The victory was the first of Sutherland's career and netted the American the $1m prize.

Ranked 62nd in the tournament, he took the lead for the first time on the 33rd hole.

But he appeared to have handed the advantage back to his opponent on the last hole when a beautiful bunker shot to five feet enabled him to half the hole and take the victory.

For Sutherland it was a chance to repeat his victory in the pair's last match play encounter almost 20 years ago when they were in high school in Sacramento.


I felt I played a lot better than my opponent and felt I should have won
Scott McCarron

And afterwards he said: "I know we played a match in high school. I feel like I'm still in high school right now.

"It might not be an amazing story to the rest of the world but it's really cool for Sacramento."

Sutherland had struggled to find the fairways for much of the 36 holes but took the match as a result of his excellent putting.

McCarron, who had led for much of the day, remained upbeat after pocketing $550,000 for second place.

The 36-year-old added: "I am playing better than anybody in the world right now.

"I felt I played a lot better than my opponent and felt I should have won."

Sutherland struggled to maintain any consistency with his swing on the early holes, missing eight successive fairways.

McCarron in action in the morning round
McCarron had led for much of the contest

He trailed throughout the morning as a result but never by more than two holes.

But, on the 18th, McCarron missed the green to enable Sutherland to square the contest at lunch.

Twice McCarron took a two-hole advantage in the afternoon and looked to be on his way to the win.

But Sutherland stayed in sight of his long-time friend before taking the lead with three holes remaining.

The match looked destined for extra holes when Sutherland landed in the bunker on the 36th.

But he then chipped to within 18 inches of the hole to halve the hole and take the title.

Brad Faxon won the third-place play-off with Paul Azinger at the first extra hole.

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BBC Sport's Richie Stevens
"Sutherland was the 62nd seed in the tournament"
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