Watson cruises to World Match Play glory

Bubba Watson claimed a thumping 7 and 6 victory over Kevin Kisner to win a second World Golf Championships title at the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play.

Kisner had beaten Alex Noren in a high-quality semi-final and the championship match looked set to be a tight affair but Watson won the first five holes to storm into a lead he never looked like relinquishing.

The difference was six at the turn and while Kisner got the biggest cheer of the day as he won the 11th with a lengthy putt, Watson birdied the next to complete a comprehensive victory.

Noren finished third with a 5 and 3 win over Justin Thomas, whose loss to Watson in the last four prevented him from moving to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

In adding this victory to his 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions title, two-time Masters Tournament champion Watson becomes just the fifth player after Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to win multiple Major Championships and WGCs.

“It’s crazy to think about it,” he said. “I’ve got two World Golf Championships, counting this one, and two Majors.

“It’s unbelievable to think about that. Giving my mom a hug, six years old, having one golf club for a year, no lessons. I can sit here and make up stories all day but it’s absolutely remarkable that I’m able to lift a trophy like this.”

He added: “Kisner is a great player. He’s played great all week and you can just tell the energy was gone with the tough match this morning.

“I made some putts coming down the stretch and that kept me going and kept me up front.”

The 39 year old began his week by turning in 28 in a 5 and 3 win over Branden Grace but Kisner did much of the work for him in the early stages on Sunday afternoon at Austin Country Club.

It’s crazy to think about it. I’ve got two World Golf Championships, counting this one, and two Majors – Bubba Watson

A 12-foot birdie putt earned Watson the first and then Kisner endured a torrid run.

The 34 year old missed the green with his second at the second and then nearly went into the hazard off the tee on the third to drop another shot and send Watson three up.

Kisner found sand at the par three next and when he went right off the tee and then into a bunker with Watson on the green at the fifth, a concession soon came and the lead was five after five.

Watson missed a four-footer for birdie to hand Kisner some respite on the sixth but a poor tee-shot led to a bogey on the seventh and the gap was six.

The eighth and ninth were halved in pars but Watson holed an 11-footer for birdie on the tenth before a 35-foot birdie from Kisner on the next got a huge cheer from the Texan galleries.

That only delayed the inevitable, however, with Watson’s birdie on the next sealing the biggest win in an 18-hole final at this event.

“I don’t know what was going on,” said Kisner “It was just pitiful. I couldn’t hit anywhere close to where I was trying.

“Long week, a little tired, probably, lose some legs and just didn’t have it. And I finally made a few good swings coming in but those were too little, too late.”

In the 3rd/4th play-off, Thomas made a mess of the first but hit a stunner into the third before Noren re-took a lead he would not let go again on the next.

Another birdie came on the fifth and after a concession on the sixth, Noren won the seventh, 11th, 13th and 15th in an ultimately comfortable win.