Kevin Kisner made winning seven matches in five days look like a walk in the park and barely broke a sweat Sunday afternoon as he rolled to a 3 & 2 victory over Matt Kuchar in the championship match of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas.
Kisner captured his third PGA Tour victory, his first since winning the 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, and his first prestigious WGC title.
Along the way Kisner defeated golfers from England, China, South Africa, Italy and three from the United States while taming the demanding layout at Austin Country Club. He only played the 18th hole once this week — in Sunday morning’s 1-up semifinal match win over Francesco Molinari of Italy.
Kisner never trailed in the championship match, winning the first hole with a birdie, falling back into a tie with Kuchar after a bogey on the fifth, moving to 2-up with a birdie on the sixth and a Kuchar bogey on the seventh and making the turn with a one-hole lead after a bogey on the ninth.
Kisner built his lead to 2-up when Kuchar hit his tee shot in the water on the par-3 11th for a double bogey. That advantage remained in place until Kuchar bogeyed the 15th, granting Kisner a 3-up lead with three holes to play. Kisner then matched Kuchar’s birdie on the 16th with a 21-foot putt to claim the title.
Kisner has played well in the past two years at this event, earning a spot in the finals in 2018 before falling to Bubba Watson, 7 & 6, in the championship match.
Kuchar won the event in 2013, when it was played in Arizona. Despite losing on Sunday afternoon, he moved to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, passing Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.
Molinari wins third-place match
Molinari captured the third-place match in the event with a 4 & 2 victory over Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard. Molinari won for the sixth time in seven matches over the five days of competition, beating players from Japan, Denmark (twice), England and the United States (twice) in the process.
Molinari never trailed in the consolation match, winning the first hole with a birdie and extending his lead to 2-up with another on the third. Bjerregaard won the fourth with a birdie but Molinari responded with birdies on the fifth and sixth to go 3-up.
The Dane won the seventh when Molinari bogeyed after missing the green off the tee on the par 3 but Bjerregaard returned the favor and then some via bogeys on the 10th and 12th holes, falling four holes behind with six to play.
Bjerregaard won the 13th hole when Molinari bogeyed before the two players parred both the 14th and 15th holes. Molinari then closed out the third-place match by parring the 16th.
Earlier in the day both Kisner and Kuchar survived tight battles in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. Kisner defeated Molinari 1-up in the first semifinal while Kuchar outlasted Bjerregaard, also 1-up, in the second final-four dustup.
After competing under mostly warm and benign conditions for the three days of pool play and then in wind and drizzle on Saturday for the Round of 16 and quarterfinals on Saturday, the four golfers remaining in the field for the semifinals teed off with chilly temperatures in the low 40s on Sunday morning.
Molinari birdied the 16th and 17th holes to catch Kisner, who won it with a par at 18 when Molinari three-putted from 27 feet.
Kuchar never trailed in his match but also never led by more than 1-up against Bjerregaard, who beat Tiger Woods on Saturday on their final hole to advance to the semifinals.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)