Scheffler Captures WGC-Match Play, Climbs to No. 1 in World Golf Rankings

Scottie Scheffler was on top of the world at the end of the day, in more ways than one. 

The fifth-seeded Scheffler defeated No. 29 Kevin Kisner, 4 and 3, to win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club Austin, Texas, and will be No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings when they are released tomorrow. 

No. 36 Corey Conners of Canada downed No. 8 Dustin Johnson, 3 and 1, in the consolation match. 

“I never got this far in my dreams,” Scheffler, who lost to Billy Horschel in the final of this event last season, said while choking up and wiping away tears during the trophy presentation. “I just play golf. I love competing. I’m happy to be out here, you know? I’m pretty worn out right now. 

“I’d say just like anything out here, you kind of have to see your own shot. I think I’ve really worked hard at being more consistent with my ball-striking since I was in college. In college, I kind of fought my swing a little bit, and as I’ve turned pro I feel like I’ve improved in a few aspects of my game and just gotten more comfortable.  

“Through the work I’ve put in I’ve just gained some more confidence, and I feel like I have a lot of different shots that we can kind of use.” 

The 25-year-old Scheffler, who captured won three of his last five events including the WM Phoenix Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, won the second hole with a par and built his lead over Kisner to 3 up by sixth hole, never trailing by less than that the rest of the way. 

Among Scheffler’s best shots of the day were a series of long drives, accurate approach shots, a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 4, a dramatic 25-foot hole-out from the sand to save par and halve the 12th hole, and a 16-foot birdie putt at No. 14 that gave him a 4-up lead. 

“He’s playing incredible golf,” said Kisner, who beat Matt Kuchar to win the 2019 WGC-Match Play after losing to Bubba Watson in the final a year earlier. “I couldn’t get the putter to cooperate.” 

Scheffler, who definitely was the favorite of the local fans since he starred to the University of Texas about 10 miles away, reached the final with a 3-and-1 victory over Johnson, who won this title in 2017 by beating Jon Rahm of Spain for the title. 

Once again leading from the start after winning the first hole with a seven-foot birdie putt, Scheffler stretched his margin to 5-up after 11 holes before Johnson rallied by winning four straight holes with three birdies and a par to make it close down the stretch. 

Scheffler bounced back with a two-putt birdie on the 16th hole to go back to 2 up, and after Johnson missed his 17-foot birdie putt on the 17th, he conceded Scheffler’s birdie from eight feet and the match was over. 

Kisner, who reached the semifinals when he rallied from 3 down by winning the last four holes on Saturday in the quarterfinals to stun Adam Scott of Australia, trailed again on the back nine in his semifinal against Conners. 

The Canadian made two birdies in three holes to go 1 up after 13 holes, but Kisner got even with a four-foot birdie putt at No. 14, a par as Conners made bogey at No. 17, and a three-foot birdie putt in the last. 

Conners took a 3-up lead against Johnson in the consolation match by winning the first three holes with birdies, including a 19-footer on the third, built his lead to 4-up through six holes and never trailed. 

Johnson cut his deficit to 2 down with a 24-foot hole-out from the fairway at No. 7 and making a tap-in birdie at No. 14, but Conners righted the ship and closed things out with an eight-foot birdie putt at No. 17. 

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