Sunday Match Recap: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Kevin Kesner (29) defeated. Cory Conyers (36), 2-up

Whether it’s a dramatic comeback, a dominant victory, or a back-and-forth fight, Kevin Kisner uses a variety of tactics to advance his match play.

After taking his last four holes against Adam Scott in the Round of 16 on Saturday to win the match 1-up, he jumped ahead of Will Zalatores from the start and raced to win 4-3 in the quarter-finals, a stage to face Maestro Cory Conners in the semi-finals on Sunday morning.

In a closely contested match, neither player advanced more than 1-up until he handed Kisner a birdie to win the closing hole and capture a 2-up victory, and go on to face local champion Scottie Scheffler in the final on Sunday afternoon. Each player has previous experience in the final final match; Kesner finished second after Bubba Watson in 2018 before defeating Matt Kochar in 2019, while Scheffler finished second after Billy Horschel in 2021 and is hungry for compensation.

Kissner took the early edge on Sunday morning with a winning birdie in the 4th minute, drying a 20-foot bird after Connors couldn’t attempt to bring down his 45-foot bird. The proud Canadian quickly bounced back with a third-place bird, draining a 10-foot run before Kessner’s 7-foot attempt slipped to equalise. The next three holes were linked via par-par-Birdie, before Kisner regained a 1-up advantage by 14-foot par in the seventh, as Conners flew into the green with his green vault shot and narrowly missed his modest save attempt.

After three more pars-related holes, Conners tied the match in dramatic fashion with a 39-foot-tall jumper in Class 3 11, impressing Austin CC faithful. Kesner found the water with his second shot at 5 12th, providing an opportunity for Conners, who put two on a par with the best bogey Kesner.

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Kesner tied the match back up with two equal hits at the 14th level parity, as Conners missed the green with his second shot and then couldn’t get into the green with his thin shot, creating a bogey. Having tied the 15th with Pars, Kessner had a 7-foot-tall flying appearance to take the lead in the 5th and 16th, but he just couldn’t fall.

With the match tied for 17th, Kesner set up a batting range delay, while Conners birdie attempted from the rim that raced next to the hole, wasting an 8-foot and bogey. Kissner once again had an advantage, this time on the short end hole of the Level 4, and tapped the field with a perfectly tight court that uses a ramp in the middle of the green, with the ball rolling backwards to within 5 feet of the cup. When the 10-foot Conners attempted a slide, the hole-and-match was ceded to the University of Georgia, whose goal is to keep momentum from the Bulldogs’ recent football title and thrill fans in Athens, Georgia on Sunday afternoon.

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