Bubba Watson re-affirmed his position as one of the favourites for the upcoming Masters by claiming his second victory in quick succession in the build up to the next week’s opening men’s major of the season.
The left-hander backed up his recent victory in the Genesis Open in Los Angles with an impressive sucessive in the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Texas.
Watson rounded off a great week’s golf in the head-to-head format with a thumping 7&6 win over fellow American Kevin Kisner after he’d earlier defeated world No 2 Justin Thomas in the semi-finals.
It was Watson’s second WGC title after his win in the HSBC Champions in 2014. He also becomes just the fifth players to win multiple WGCs and multiple majors.
The 39-year-old won the Masters in both 2012 and 2014 and is heading back to Augusta National feeling confident about his chances of claiming a third Green Jacket.
“I’m confident, obviously, having two wins,” he said. “So, if I miss the cut, I still have two wins to fall back on so far.
“But, yeah, when I get there, I’m going to look forward to it and hopefully I can get this focus and my putter rolling like it is.”
Kisner had beaten former Scottish Open champion Alex Noren in a high-quality semi-final and the championship match looked set to be a tight affair.
But Watson won the first five holes to storm into a lead he never looked like relinquishing and Kisner’s only success in the match was a birdie from long range at the 11th.
It was all over, though, as Watson birdied the next to secure an 11th PGA Tour triumph and join Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to win multiple majors and WGCs.
“This is unbelievable, a dream come true,” added Watson. “At the beginning of the week you don’t know what’s going to happen, because golf is very difficult.
“So for me to stay focused, stay committed to my shots, there’s probably about four shots for the whole week that I wasn’t committed to. That’s pretty good for me.”
Noren finished third with a 5&3 over Thomas, moving the Swede to fifth in the Race to Dubai behind leader Shubhanker Sharma.
“I’m very pleased with the way I played,” said Noren. “It’s going to be nice to head to the Masters in really good form and I’m looking forward to it.
“I gained a lot of confidence from this week. Match play is tough because you’re trying your hardest on every shot and that’s a good warm-up for a major.”