Kisner, Kuchar to meet in all-American Match Play final

Kevin Kisner defeats Italian Francesco Molinari in an all-American final in Austin, Texas. (AFP pic)

AUSTIN: Kevin Kisner and Matt Kuchar will meet in an all-American final at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after dispatching their respective opponents in close Sunday morning semi-finals in Texas on Sunday.

Kisner upset Italian seventh seed Francesco Molinari 1-up, while Kuchar won by the same margin when he edged Danish 50th seed Lucas Bjerregaard on a chilly morning at Austin Country Club.

Kisner, the 48th seed, is back in the final for the second straight year, after finishing runner-up to Bubba Watson 12 months ago.

Twenty-third seed Kuchar won the event in 2013, when it was played in Arizona.

Kisner did it the hard way against British Open champion Molinari, who birdied the 16th and 17th holes to tie it up.

With the match on the line at the short par-four 18th, Molinari three-putted after blasting his first putt seven feet beyond the hole and then missing his seven-foot par attempt.

“I didn’t play great on the back nine and neither did he and I was fortunate to come out on top,” Kisner toldGolf Channel.

“I need to clean that up for the final to win the trophy. I’m just going to play my game and see how well I can do.”

Kuchar looked to have won it when he sank a 12-foot birdie at the 17th hole, but Bjerregaard rammed home a clutch 10-footer from the fringe to stay alive.

With that, Kuchar stayed 1-up playing the last, which he halved to earn the win.

“It was not great golf,” Kuchar said. “I didn’t have my best stuff. It was a case of survive and advance.”

The 18-hole final was scheduled to start almost immediately.