Bubba Watson knocked off the No. 2 player in the world to advance to the finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where he’ll eye his second win in the last two months and second career WGC title.
Watson, the 35th seed, beat second-seeded Justin Thomas 3 and 2 in their semifinals matchup Sunday at Austin Country Club. Watson will now face Kevin Kisner in the finals later Sunday. Kisner, the 32nd seed, beat 13th-seeded Alex Noren in 19 holes in their semifinals matchup. Thomas and Noren will face off for third.
Thomas never led in the match. Watson birdied the first hole to go 1 up, and he was 3 up until Thomas won his first hole, the par-3 7th. Thomas birdied the 9th to cut Watson’s lead to 1 up at the turn, but Watson won the 10th and 12th to increase his advantage to 3 up and the pair halved the next three holes to end the match.
Winning his semifinals match would have been enough to vault Thomas to the top-ranked player in the world, supplanting Dustin Johnson, but after his loss to Watson he’ll remain at No. 2.
Kisner won his opening hole versus Noren with a par, they halved the second with pars and then halved the next four with birdies. Noren birdied 7 to even the match and then took a 1-up lead with a birdie on 8 after he made his sixth consecutive birdie. Kisner squared it with an eagle on the par-5 12th, and they halved the next six holes. Kisner won the match on the first extra hole when he made birdie. Kisner has two career PGA Tour victories (compared to Watson’s 10) and has never won a WGC.
TV coverage for the finals and third-place match begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.