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WGC-Dell Match Play 2019: Kevin Kisner Beats Matt Kuchar to Earn Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2019

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 31: Kevin Kisner of the United States lines up a putt in his match against Matt Kuchar of the United States during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 31, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Kevin Kisner defeated Matt Kuchar 3 and 2 in the finals of the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday at Austin Country Club in Texas.

Kisner earned a par on the 15th hole to move to 3-up on Kuchar. They both birdied No. 16, which secured the title for Kisner.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

64 players started. 1 player remains. @K_Kisner defeats Matt Kuchar 3 and 2. He's won the 2019 @DellMatchPlay! 🀘 It's his 3rd career PGA TOUR victory. πŸ† #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/Mp6Cvd2AO7

In the third-place match, Francesco Molinari defeated Lucas Bjerregaard 4 and 2.

Kisner finished runner-up to Bubba Watson in last year's Dell Match Play finals. He dropped five straight holes en route to a 7-and-6 defeat. That experience was invaluable this year and showed Kisner the value of a strong start.

He gained an advantage right out of the gate, birdieing the first hole to go 1-up. That was a trend throughout the event.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

1 UP thru 1 for his FOURTH straight match. @K_Kisner continues his streak vs. Kuchar. πŸ”₯ #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/60losdZhlK

Kuchar was lucky to avoid going 2-down on the fourth hole. His drive sailed left of the rough and landed on the edge of a rock wall on the edge of the hole. He knocked the ball back onto the fairway before dropping his third-shot approach to within four feet of the pin.

Walking away with a par was an impressive feat.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

On the rocks. 😨 What a save from Matt Kuchar! πŸ˜… #QuickHits https://t.co/z0TjCW7LKq

Kuchar made it all square on No. 5 but immediately ceded the advantage back to Kisner, who went 1-up with a birdie on No. 6 and never trailed over the remainder of the match. Kisner doubled his lead on No. 7, only to see Kuchar trim the deficit on the ninth hole before they made the turn to the back nine.

Any momentum Kuchar gained from his win quickly evaporated. On the par-three 11th hole, his tee shot landed short of the green and into the water.

Golf Digest @GolfDigest

Watching Matt Kuchar hit it in the water when he's 1 down to Kevin Kisner. https://t.co/cHi0vyRFbx

Kisner played it more safely, sending his tee shot a little past the green but onto the fairway. He carded a par while Kuchar settled for a double bogey.

The two essentially went shot for shot with one another over the following three holes, which was bad news for Kuchar. He wasn't performing badly, but Kisner wasn't making the kind of mistakes he needed in order to get back in the match.

Kisner opened the door ever so slightly on No. 15 when he sliced his drive into the rough but recovered to save par and seal the victory. This is his first PGA Tour title since the 2017 Dean & Deluca Invitational.

The third-place match largely played out similarly to the finals. Molinari jumped out to a 2-up lead through three holes and didn't look back from there. He remained 2-up when making the turn and improved to 3-up with a win on the 10th hole.

Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia both fell just short of reaching Sunday's semifinals. Bjerregaard defeated Woods 1-up in the quarterfinals, with Kuchar dispatching of Garcia 2-up.