Monday 1 April 2019 6:13 pm

Sam Torrance: Tough cookie Kevin Kisner showed Major grit to win WGC Match Play

A lot of golf goes into winning the WGC Match Play. Those who make it to the last four end up playing seven rounds in five days, so it is a grind. But Kevin Kisner is a tough cookie.

Kisner, who reached the final last year only to suffer a 7&6 defeat to Bubba Watson, was very impressive on his way to winning the event in Texas on Sunday.

He has an excellent game and knows the course well, which he showed by outplaying Francesco Molinari in the semi-finals. He then proved too good for fellow American Matt Kuchar in the final, winning 3&2.

Kisner tied for second at Carnoustie last year when Molinari won The Open and this type of grind is exactly what you need at a Major when it isn’t a birdie blitz.

This win is great timing for next week’s Masters, but while the Green Jacket doesn’t always go to a prolific hitter – as the previous victories of Mike Weir and Zach Johnson show – Augusta does hold advantages for players who can drive the ball that bit further than Kisner.

Of the Masters favourites in action at the WGC Match Play, Molinari was sublime but seemed a little jaded by the final day, while Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods clashed on Saturday in a fantastic last-16 contest, which Woods won 2&1.

Lucas Bjerregaard then beat his idol Tiger in the quarter-finals to make it a week to remember for the Dane.

An extra-special win

On the European Tour, meanwhile, Stephen Gallacher produced a wonderful comeback to win the Indian Open.

The Scot made a quadruple bogey at the seventh hole but responded with six birdies and one bogey as he navigated probably one of the hardest finishes in golf to post a score that no one would equal.


Julian Suri had looked on track for the win until he too took eight shots, in his case at the 14th, and the American had to settle for a share of fourth place.

This is only Gallacher’s fourth title on the tour, although they have all been big events – two wins at the Dubai Desert Classic and one at the Dunhill Links Championship.

It will also have felt extra special to win with his 18-year-old son Jack on his bag. My son Daniel caddied for me on the Seniors Tour and it is a great bonding experience that neither of you ever forget.

Return of G-Mac

I was pleased to see Graeme McDowell end his four-year drought with victory in the other PGA Tour event of the week, the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.

The Northern Irishman has had a difficult time but this is a fabulous return to form. We all know what a difference confidence can make to results, so this could be the start of another spell of success for the 2010 US Open champion.

With The Open being held in his native Portrush this year and his qualification not yet assured, McDowell has a great incentive.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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