AUSTIN, Texas – If Sunday’s semifinal slate at Austin Country Club didn’t entertain you, then maybe match play isn’t your thing.
The morning matches at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play had everything the format offers: from dramatic lead changes to stifling performances that set the stage for the afternoon final between Scottie Scheffler and Kevin Kisner.
Both players continued defining performances in the event with Kisner overcoming a mid-round rally from Corey Conners and Scheffler jumping ahead early against Dustin Johnson and never letting up.
“It felt like a heavyweight bout. He's a hell of a ball striker, always in play, hitting great shots after great shots,” Kisner said of Conners. “Fortunate enough to come out on the right side of this one for sure.”
Kisner seemed to have the match in hand with a 1-up lead at the turn and a 14-foot birdie putt at the 10th hole, with Conners nearly out of play and some 100 feet left of the green. But the Canadian was able to scramble for par and Kisner missed his birdie putt.
Conners kept up the heat with a 38-footer for birdie at the 11th and won the 12th hole when Kisner hit his second shot into a water hazard. It was the first time Kisner had trailed in a match since the fourth hole on Thursday.
“The up-and-down on 10 and then making that putt on 11, that kind of threw a wrench in my get-up there, but glad I was able to come out on top,” said Kisner, the 2019 WGC-Match Play champion who will be making his third appearance in the title bout.
Kisner took the lead when Conners missed a 10-footer for par at the 17th hole and he closed out the match with a birdie at the last for a 2-up victory.
Scheffler, who is making his second consecutive trip to the championship match, birdied the first and third holes for a 2-up lead and had a 5-up advantage through 11 holes before closing out the match with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17 for 3-and-1 victory.
If Scheffler can win the finals match against Kisner, he will become the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking.