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Watson defeats Kinser 7-6 in Dell Match Play

March 26, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

We saw something highly unusual yesterday.  When a PGA touring professional is playing poorly in a tournament, he is never shown on television.  The player who is playing poorly is not discussed by the commentators even if he is in the final pairing.  This week that couldn’t happen since the Final Round was a match play event between Bubba Watson and Kevin Kinser.  What we experienced was the dark side of golf.  Kinser had played well all week by winning all of his matches and had just beaten Alex Noren in the semi-finals.  In his final match on Sunday, it all went wrong and even when he hit a great shot, something bad happened.  He crunched a 300 yard + drive and it ran and ran and took a slight turn to the left and rolled to the edge of the hazard.  The hazard was the edge of the cliff and for a right-hander, he had no stance and could do nothing but punch the ball down the fairway 40 yards.  He lost that hole as well.  Watson was playing well but it was not an extraordinary performance but he made no mistakes so Kinser was simply beaten into the ground.  On one of the holes close to the end of the match, Kinser showed remarkable grit by holing a 35 ft. putt for par.  However, Watson made sure there wouldn’t be the slightest opportunity for a comeback by holing his 15 footer for birdie and another hole won.  Kinser never flinched or showed any negative emotion as Watson was beating him like a drum.  He turned in a very classy performance  The match concluded on the 12th hole.  Another important factor in match play is that you have to capitalize quickly on any mistakes that your opponent makes to keep the pressure on and present no opportunities to come back.  Kinser  also displayed another key tenet of golf by playing through a very difficult and embarrassing round without emotion.  When asked about the day, Kinser mused, “It was a very successful week and I’m looking forward to the Masters, I just have to figure out what went wrong today and prevent it from recurring.”

The venue for this event was the venerable Austin Country Club which looked pretty difficult on television.  The course has a number of very tough holes with what seemed to be a plethora of water hazards.  Justin Thomas lost the consolidation match to Alex Noren.  It seemed to me that Thomas was trying too hard as a victory in this event would have catapulted Thomas to a World No. 1 ranking.  My sensation is that he doesn’t need to be impatient as this is probably going to happen sooner rather than later with his considerable skills.



March 26, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm