Kevin Kisner beats Matt Kuchar in final of Dell Match Play

Kisner finished second in the event at Austin Country Club last year


The second time around for Kevin Kisner was even sweeter.

One year after finishing as the runner up at the Dell Match Play at Austin County Club, Kisner did one better, beating Matt Kuchar 3 and 2 in the championship match on Sunday.

"Last year I felt like I rushed around to get ready to play in the (championship) match," Kisner said. "I tried to go through my whole routine in an hour to get ready, and that's not feasible. This year I just went tot he range and hit 20 balls and went to the tee.

"I wasn't overhyped for it and just tried to go play a casual round of golf."

Kisner has won three times on the PGA Tour, his last being at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational in May 2017. With the win comes the $1.7 million prize, by far the biggest purse of his career.

Kisner beat Francesco Molinari 1 up, while Kuchar topped the Tiger-slayer Lucas Bjerregaard 1 up in the semifinals on Sunday morning. Molinari made four birdies and beat Bjerregaard 4 and 2 in the consolation final.

In the early round, the wind was blowing and the temperature was in the low 40s. Kuchar played the semifinals in a winter hat. Kisner said, especially on the front nine, it was extra difficult going straight into the wind and he felt like he was playing in Britain.

"The food is better here by far," he said.

In the final, Kisner took the lead right off the bat with a birdie on the par-4 first. He added to that lead on No. 6 when he hit a fantastic shot following a drop from under a hospitality tent and made the eight-foot putt for birdie.

Kuchar sent his putt on the par-3 7th well past the hole and missed the comeback to drop his second straight hole. Kisner three-putt the ninth and last the hole to head to the back side with a 1-up lead.

A water ball from Kuchar on the par-3 11th helped Kisner reestablish his 2-up lead.

"I don't think I played my best all week," Kisner said. "I feel like I did just what I needed to do. I know Matt didn't play well today. Him making only two birdies the entire day is unlike him, and he gave more bogeys than I've ever seen."

Next up on the PGA Tour is the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, where Jordan Spieth will headline the tournament one week before The Masters.

Kisner will compete at The Master in two weeks for the third time - his best finish was T28 last year. But the win also bumps him to No. 15 in the Presidents Cup standings. The 2019 tournament, pitting the best Americans against the best international players outside of Europe, takes place this December in Australia.

Kisner, a South Carolina native, is one of the most laid back players on tour. He compares Austin to his home state and likes everything about the course and city - aside from the traffic.

"They say, ‘Keep Austin Weird,' and I say it's plenty weird with the traffic," Kisner said. "Austin Country Club is a great venue and beautiful backdrop and the people are so similar to what I grew up with that I feel right at home here."

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