Bubba Watson won his second World Golf Championships title on Sunday with the biggest blowout since the championship matches switched to 18 holes in 2011, a 7-and-6 victory over Kevin Kisner in the Dell Technologies Match Play event in Austin, Tex.
Watson was not as sharp as he was in the semifinals against Justin Thomas, whom he beat in 16 holes to keep Thomas from rising to No. 1 in the world ranking, but he did not have to be. If not for a missed 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 sixth, Watson would have won the first seven holes.
Kisner had a lot to do with that. After escaping in 19 holes against Alex Noren in his semifinal match, Kisner did not put up much of a fight. He made four straight bogeys and putted for birdie only twice on the front nine.
“I don’t know what was going on,” Kisner said. “It was just pitiful. I’ve just got to forget this 12 holes and get back to working on the things that got me here.”
Watson, who hardly ever makes it so far in match play, had planned to leave the country on Sunday for a family vacation, which he had to postpone.
But he never trailed in the 28 holes he played Sunday and was never seriously threatened.
The tougher match was against Thomas, the P.G.A. champion, who needed only to reach the championship match to replace Dustin Johnson at No. 1. Watson went out to a 3-up lead on the front nine, and when Thomas closed to 1 down at the turn with his first birdie putt, Watson won two of the next three holes and regained control. Thomas did not make another birdie until the par-5 16th, and by then it was too late. Watson made his birdie from 3 feet for a 3-and-2 victory.
Thomas said he had been too consumed with what was at stake in the semifinals.
“I haven’t had such a hard time not thinking about something so much,” Thomas said.
Noren beat Thomas in the consolation match, 5 and 3.
One year after Watson disappeared from among the elite in golf, he has won twice in his last four starts. He was No. 117 in the world when he arrived at Riviera, where he won for the third time in his career. With his 11th victory on the PGA Tour, he is back up to No. 21.
A two-time Masters champion, Watson added his name to the growing list of contenders at Augusta National.
“I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully I can get this focus and my putter rolling like it is,” he said.
PGA Tour Brice Garnett completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for his first PGA Tour title.
Two strokes ahead after three late windblown bogeys on Saturday, Garnett closed with a two-under-par 70 in windy and rainy conditions for a four-stroke victory over Keith Mitchell.
Garnett, 34, a two-time winner last year on the Web.com Tour, finished at 18-under 270. He opened with a 63 and added rounds of 69 and 70. Mitchell followed a third-round 75 with a 67.
Kelly Kraft was third at 13 under after a 67, and Denny McCarthy (70) was 12 under. Harris English (70) and K. J. Choi (66) topped the group at 11 under.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out on Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77 and 82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.
PGA Tour Champions Steve Stricker pulled away on the back nine at Fallen Oak in Biloxi, Miss., and won the Rapiscan Systems Classic, his second straight PGA Tour Champions victory.
Stricker, 51, closed with a four-under 68, birdieing all four par-5 holes on the Tom Fazio-designed layout with big and fast greens. He finished at 11-under 205 for a three-stroke victory over Billy Andrade.