Kevin Kisner made it to the Dell Technologies Match Play final for the second straight year, and this time he got it right.
A week that began with a loss ended with the biggest victory of Kisner's career when he holed a 20-foot birdie putt to close out Matt Kuchar, 3 and 2, in the chilly championship match at Austin Country Club.
“It was a long week. I prevailed. And I'm a world golf champion,” Kisner said off the 16th green.
He became the first player to win Match Play after losing in the championship match the previous year. That one wasn't close, as Bubba Watson raced out to a big lead and ended the match in 12 holes.
Kisner never trailed against Kuchar, though it was tight at the turn until Kuchar made too many mistakes. He missed a 12-foot putt on the 10th that would have tied the match, and on his next swing put his tee shot into the water on the par-3 11th.
Kisner, equipped with a 2-up lead, took it from there. He halved holes by making putts from 6 feet and 4 feet, and then seized control on the 15th when Kuchar's chip was too strong and led to another lost hole.
He won for the third time in his career, this victory worth $1,745,000.
“It's tough to maintain the high level of play the entire tournament,” Kuchar said. “You hope to do it and I feel like I've kind of built a game that I could rely on playing some good, steady golf. But I gave too many holes away. I knew against Kisner I couldn't do it, and he just plodded along and let me make mistakes. And that was good playing by Kevin.”
Kisner had to play 120 holes over seven matches in five days, a week that began with a loss to Ian Poulter in group play. Kisner became the first player to win the Match Play with a loss during the round-robin portion, which began in 2015.
The second straight All-American final resulted in a sixth consecutive U.S. victory in the World Golf Championships.
Graeme McDowell wins in the Dominican Republic
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — Graeme McDowell won the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title since November 2015, closing with a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory over Chris Stroud and Mackenzie Hughes.
McDowell took the lead from Stroud with a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th and closed with a bogey — lagging a 30-foot par putt to inches — on the par-4 18th. Stroud bogeyed the final two holes in a 69. Hughes also closed with a bogey for a 66.
McDowell finished at 18-under 270, rebounding from an opening 73 with consecutive 64s to take a one-stroke lead over Stroud into the final round. The 2010 U.S. Open champion, McDowell won his fourth PGA Tour title. He didn't get an automatic Masters spot with the victory because the event was played opposite the World Golf Championships event in Texas.
Jonathan Byrd (66) was fourth at 16 under, and Chip McDaniel (63) and Kelly Kraft (68) followed at 15 under.