The Masters is right around the corner and Bubba Watson seems to be ready.
Watson, a two-time winner of the first major of the year at Augusta National, rolled to a 7-and-6 victory over Kevin Kisner in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play final at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas.
The 39-year-old Watson, who was seeded 35th in the tournament, joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els of South Africa and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland as the only players with multiple victories in both the majors and WGC events.
“I’m looking forward to (the Masters), all the majors and I want the Ryder Cup,” said Watson, who captured the Genesis Open for the third time at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades last month after suffering through a winless 2017, at least in part because of a mysterious illness.
“I got off to a hot start and just focused on golf, committed to my shots. I’m physically healthy and confident in myself. I’ve got a new putter, actually two putters that they melded into one, and the first week I had it was when in won in L.A.
“ … It’s crazy to think about it. I’ve got two World Golf Championships, counting this one, and two majors. I’m playing good, it’s fun.”
Watson, 6-0-1 for the week, reached the final by preventing second-seeded Justin Thomas from claiming the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking with a 3-and-2 victory in the morning semifinals, as the 32nd-seeded Kisner holed a five-foot birdie putt on the 19th hole to finish off No. 13 Alex Noren of Sweden.
Kisner never got untracked in the final, losing the first five holes and not winning a hole until he sank a 34-foot birdie putt at No. 11.
“I don’t know what was going on,” said Kisner, who like Watson played college golf at Georgia. “It was just pitiful. I couldn’t hit anywhere close to where I was trying. Long week. A little tired, probably. Lose some legs, and just didn’t have it. And finally made a few good swings coming in, but those were too little, too late.
“But I kept grinding and have to build on this week heading into Augusta.”
Noren and Thomas admitted not being mentally or physically into the consolation final in the afternoon, which the Swede won, 5 and 3.
“I definitely wasn’t very hard to beat this afternoon,” said Thomas, who conceded that he let the possibility of taking the No. 1 ranking get the best of him. “I couldn’t get it out of my mind, starting last night.
“But it might be a good thing, not taking that pressure into Augusta.”
Noren took control early with three birdies in the first seven holes, as Thomas never led in either of the final-day matches after coming in with a 5-0 record.
“I’m sure both were angry after losing this morning,” said Noren, who collected seven birdies, including concessions, in 15 holes against Thomas. “The energy goes out of you. It was tough to lose in a playoff.
“Match play is so intense, it’s almost like every hole is a playoff. It’s been a long week, but I’m happy with the way I played.”
Noren, who played college golf at Oklahoma State and has 10 pro victories but none on the PGA Tour, has one runner-up finish and two thirds in his last seven start on the U.S. tour.
For complete tournament results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.