Watson routs Kisner to win WGC Match Play

Rory McIlroy

World number two Thomas was joined in the quarter-finals by fellow American, 35th seed Bubba Watson, who also has been in sizzling form this week.

Watson, a two-time Masters victor, played terrifically all week and punctuated a victory at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with a dominant 7&6 win over Kevin Kisner in the championship match.

"I'm very pleased with the way I played", said Noren. "I'm glad I didn't see it".

Watson started using the putter at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am but went back and forth with the loft, starting with 3.5 degrees at Pebble Beach before settling on 4.5 degrees at the Genesis Open.

In seven previous trips to the Match Play, Watson made it to the weekend just twice, including his semifinal loss in 2011, and his fortunes didn't seem to be improving when he halved his Day 3 pool play match with Julian Suri.

Kisner contributed to that. Bubba won the first five holes to establish an unassailable lead. So he shot a 30 or 29 on the front nine, right? "I'm going to definitely say that", Watson said.

As Watson approached the sixth tee box, he turned to a reporter and said, "Hey, no matter what - I was beating No. 1 at one point".

"It's one of those things, I got off to a hot start, and I'm just focused on golf", a teary-eyed Watson told NBC Sports after closing out his match.

"I don't mind calling the resort and telling them, 'Hey, I'm going to be a little late, '" Watson joked Sunday evening.

Watson had scheduled a vacation out of the country with his family on Sunday, reasoning that he hardly ever makes it this far in golf's most fickle format.

The American has now won two majors and two WGC events in his career, an accomplishment he is quite proud of.

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The nine-time European Tour victor beat none other than Patrick Reed - fast becoming, if not already, an American Ryder Cup legend - in the first knock-out round, before overcoming the World Number Two, and leader of the USA's Ryder Cup points list, 24 year old Thomas.

Watson went out to a 3-up lead on the front nine, and when Thomas closed to 1 down at the turn with his first birdie putt, Watson won two of the next three holes to regain control. Thomas had to drain his birdie putt to have any chance, and he did. Watson made his birdie from 3 feet for a 3-and-2 victory.

Thomas said he was too consumed with what was at stake in the semifinals.

"I haven't had such a hard time not thinking about something so much".

"And that really sucked". And I think you're constantly getting questions about it with the media.

"I happen to be 39 now but I'm just a kid playing golf and having fun with it".

Noren beat Thomas 5&3 for third place.

"(There were) about four or five shots for the week where I wasn't committed, where I blanked out.

"I'm trying to get Jim Furyk to notice me", he said. It's just a learning experience, I need to handle it better. "That's pretty good for me". "I am driving the ball really nice". "And then I made some putts early".

Ji finished at 16-under 272. It's what makes him one of the more compelling players in professional golf. The same qualities that have now lifted the left-hander to his 11 PGA Tour title, often worked against him in college. She earned $270,000 and two Kia cars, a Sorento for the hole-in-one and a Stinger for the victory.

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