Kisner beats Kuchar in final of WGC-Match Play in Texas

Getty Images

Getty Images

Kevin Kisner doesn't hit it very far, but he finds fairways with remarkable regularity, and that's a trait that always plays well in match play, as it puts relentless pressure on your opponent.

A year after losing the decider to Bubba Watson, 48th seed Kisner proved too good for Kuchar, never trailing in a scrappy all-American final in which birdies proved elusive at Austin Country Club.

"Phew. It was a big week, a long weekend - grueling, not only from the mental side but the physical side", Kisner said after his round.

The 48th-seeded Kisner, who was routed in the final a year ago by Bubba Watson, defeated No. 23 Matt Kuchar, 3 and 2, to claim his first WGC title at Austin Country Club www.austincountryclub.com in Austin, Texas. "A lot of golf and a lot of stressful holes and stressful putts that I was able to prevail".

Kuchar won the event in 2013, when it was played in Arizona.

"I don't expect to see any bogeys (from Kisner)", Kuchar said.

Kuchar 3-putted from 50 feet for bogey to lose the par-3 seventh but Kisner missed a 5-footer for par at the ninth, trimming his lead to 1-up at the turn.

In the final match, Kisner birdied the opening hole of the final to move one up and was two up through seven holes as his Kuchar struggled badly on the greens.

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Kuchar, the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist, found water off the tee to drop the par-3 11th and fall 2-down then made his first birdie of the final but only halved the par-5 12th.

That advantage remained in place until Kuchar bogeyed the 15th, granting Kisner a 3-up lead with three holes to play.

In the consolation match for 3rd and 4th, Molinari defeated Lucas Bjerregaard 4&2.

Molinari, the reigning British Open champion, was Europe's hero in last year's Ryder Cup, winning all five matches in a victory over the United States team, and was 5-0 here before Sunday.

Kisner, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 2006, defeated Francesco Molinari with a score of 1 up Sunday in his semifinal match.

Both semi-finals were all square after 10 holes, no one enjoying more than a 1-up edge on the front nine. Kisner then matched Kuchar's birdie on the 16th with a 21-foot putt to claim the title.

Bjerregaard won the 13th hole when Molinari bogeyed before the two players parred both the 14th and 15th holes.

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