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Watson crushes Kisner to claim Match Play crown

By Phil Casey

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.

Thomas admitted the chance to become world number one had played heavily on his mind during the semi-final defeat which cost him top spot in the rankings. With defending champion Dustin Johnson crashing out in the group stages, Thomas needed to reach the final at Austin Country Club to end Johnson's 58-week reign and become the 21st number one since rankings began in 1986.

But semi-final opponent Watson had other ideas and two birdies and an eagle in the first six holes set the two-time Masters champion on his way to a 3&2 win.

"I haven't had such a hard time not thinking about something so much," Thomas said. "And that really sucked.

"I couldn't stop thinking about it, to be perfectly honest. And I think you're constantly getting questions about it with the media. But I need to be mentally stronger than that, and understand that it's just a match."

Meanwhile, American Brice Garnett led from start to finish to win his first PGA Tour title in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Garnett carded a closing 70 to finish 18 under par, four shots ahead of compatriot Keith Mitchell.

Three birdies in a row from the second gave Garnett some welcome breathing space and although the 34-year-old bogeyed the fifth and sixth, he steadied the ship with further birdies on the seventh and 11th.

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