AUSTIN, Texas — Bubba Watson made the final of the Dell Technologies Match Play look as though he were on vacation all along.

Watson won his second World Golf Championships title Sunday with the biggest blowout since the match-play event switched to an 18-hole final in 2011, cruising to a 7-and-6 victory over Kevin Kisner.

Watson wasn’t as sharp in the finals as he was in his semifinal victory against Justin Thomas, but he didn’t have to be. If not for missing a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 sixth, Watson would have won the first seven holes.

Kisner had a lot to do with that. After escaping in 19 holes against Alex Noren in his semifinal match, Kisner didn’t put up much of a fight. He made four straight bogeys, and only twice on the front nine did he putt for birdie.

Watson had scheduled a family vacation out of the country on Sunday, which he had to postpone. He figured he hardly ever makes it this far in golf’s most fickle format, so it was a good problem to have.

There was nothing fickle about his game, especially on the final day.


His tougher match was against Thomas, the PGA champion who needed only to reach the championship match to replace Dustin Johnson at No. 1 in the world rankings. Watson went out to a 3-up lead on the front nine, and after 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 didn’t make another birdie until the par-5 16th, and by then it was too late. 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,” Thomas said. “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.”

Noren beat Thomas in the consolation match, 5 and 3.

One year after Watson disappeared from among the elite in golf, he has won his last two starts. He was No. 117 in the world when he arrived at Riviera, where he won for the third time in his career. With his 11th victory on the PGA Tour, he now is back up to No. 21.

And the two-time Masters champion added his name to the growing list of contenders at Augusta National in two weeks.


“I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully I can get this focus and my putter rolling like it is,” Watson said.

Watson played 109 holes over seven matches, going to the 18th hole just once when he halved his match with Julian Suri on Friday.

In the all-Georgia Bulldog final against Kisner, Watson holed a 10-foot birdie on the opening hole, and then Kisner took care of the rest. His drive was short and to the right on the hill at No. 2, and he did well to get it just short of the green, failing to get up-and-down. Kisner then hit just inside the hazard and had to play short of another hazard. Then, he found a bunker on the par-3 fourth hole. His next drive went right into the trees on the reachable par-4 fifth.

Watson missed his short birdie putt to win the sixth hole, but not to worry. Kisner’s next shot bounced off a spectator’s head and next to a fence, and he had to chip off loose soil across the green for another bogey.

Brice Garnett completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic for his first PGA Tour title.

Two strokes ahead after three late wind-blown bogeys Saturday, Garnett closed with a 2-under 70 in windy and rainy conditions for a four-stroke victory over Keith Mitchell.


Garnett, 34, finished at 18-under 270.

LPGA: Eun-Hee Ji made a hole-in-one to dramatically finish off Cristie Kerr and the other challengers in the Kia Classic at Carlsbad, California.

Her lead cut from four strokes to one, Ji aced the 156-yard 14th with a 7-iron, the ball bouncing and rolling into the hole, to push her advantage to three shots.

Ji finished with a 5-under 67 for a 16-under 272 total and a two-stroke victory over Kerr and Lizette Salas. She earned $270,000 and two Kia cars, a Sorento for the hole-in-one and a Stinger for the victory.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Steve Stricker pulled away on the back nine to win the Rapiscan Systems Classic in Biloxi, Mississippi, for his second straight victory.

Stricker closed with a 4-under 68, birdieing all four par-5 holes. He finished at 11-under 205 for a three-stroke victory over Billy Andrade.

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