Pros advice

Last man standing Bubba wins at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

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Who would have picked Bubba being a two-time winner this season going into the Masters while Ian Poulter would just like to be going to Augusta.

Bubba Watson began the week with a front nine of 28, he ended it with his second title of the season and doubled his WGC haul after a 7&6 thrashing of Kevin Kisner.

The final itself was a pathetic affair as Kisner lost the first five holes after struggling with all parts of his game. If there was a mistake to be made Kisner made it and Watson sailed serenely on with his trademark big hitting and shotmaking. That said he reached the turn in just two under to sit six holes to the good.

When Kisner did hole a long one, for par at the 10th, Watson made birdie but then he did win his first hole with his first birdie of the final at the next.

But it was all over at the next when Watson got up and down for the second biggest margin of victory but Tiger Woods’ 8&7 demolition of Stewart Cink in 2008 was over 36 holes.

In the morning Kisner, who also beat Matt Kuchar before thrashing Ian Poulter in the knockout stages, had enjoyed a brilliant battle with Alex Noren as both players holed everything early on before the American edged through at the first extra hole. Watson stopped Justin Thomas from becoming the World No 1 with a 3&2 victory.

The Swede pocketed bundles of Ryder Cup points by beating Thomas 5&3 in the play-off match.


Talking Point

Coming into the week the widely-held view was that Ian Poulter needed to reach the quarter-finals to elevate himself into the top 50 in the world and, with it, a place in the Masters.

So when Poulter, seeded 58th for the week, took out Louis Oosthuizen 2&1 in the last-16 clash he was reliably informed that he would be on his way back to Augusta National.

And then he got an altogether different message that said that he needed one more win and, what do you know, the Englishman got stuffed 8&6 by Kisner.

“I should never listen to other people. When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you’re in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we’ve made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you’re not in. You need to go and win.’ Not that that’s an excuse in any form or factor, it’s a little disappointing.”

Which now leaves Poulter in a quandary as regards this week’s Houston Open, a tournament he now needs to win to make it to the year’s opening major. “I haven’t decided. I’m tired. It’s been a long week. It’s been a draining week. I’ll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

There was good news though for Chez Reavie, Dylan Frittelli, Satoshi Kodaira and Cameron Smith who kept their places inside the top 50 but the likes of Keegan Bradley and Kevin Na failed to pick up enough points.


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