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Hunter Mahan and Graeme McDowell to square off in 2010 Ryder Cup rematch

By Stephen Hennessey

MARANA, Ariz. -- You have to think Hunter Mahan will -- at least for a moment or two Thursday night or Friday morning -- let his mind wander back to the 17th hole at Celtic Manor in 2010.

When Graeme McDowell completed his second comeback in as many days and clinched a spot in the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, he set up a rematch of the 2010 Ryder Cup -- when McDowell beat Mahan on the 17th hole to claim the clinching point for Europe.

"There's a decent chance he might be out for a shade of revenge tomorrow, who knows," McDowell said after defeating Hideki Matsuyama, 1 up, in the second round at Dove Mountain. McDowell won three of his final four holes to clinch another impressive comeback after beating Gary Woodland Wednesday.

A Round of 16 clash can't compare to the atmosphere of the deciding match in a Ryder Cup. And McDowell acknowledged how much time has passed since he clinched the Cup with the win over Mahan.

But if Friday gives Mahan a chance to shake McDowell's hand as the victor, that can't be a bad feeling.

Mahan is now 13-1 over the past three years at the Accenture Match Play, including a championship win over Rory McIlroy in 2012.

Related: A recap of Thursday's action at the Match Play

When asked about the Ryder Cup rematch, Mahan didn't mention Wales or the 17th hole. This is a different event with different implications. But McDowell had a good laugh when asked about it Thursday.

"It's been a long time," McDowell said. "There's a lot of water under the bridge since 2010."

"He's a quality player. And he's got a great record around this golf course. He's gonna be a tough nut to crack."