ERIC GAY / AP
Kevin Kisner plays a bunker shot in his semi-final victory at the World Match Play.
Kevin Kisner made it back to the World Match Play for the second straight year by outlasting the British Open champion Francesco Molinari to reach the championship match against Matt Kuchar.
Kuchar made it an all-American final for the second straight year in Texas ̵
Kisner is the fifth player in the 21 years of the match Play to get to the last round in consecutive years. Bubba Watson beat him last year at Austin Country Club in a match that lasted only 12 holes.
"I can't finish worse than second," Kisner said.
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He won his semifinal match when Molinari three-putted from 25 feet above the hole with a helping wind, missing his par attempt from 8 feet
Molinari had been the only player to lose a match this week, and none of his previous matches reached the 18th hole, and he and Kisner played their best golf in the toughest conditions, with a strong wind making the temperatures feel like the upper 30s.
Each won three holes through the par 3 seventh, and Kisner took the first lead on the back nine when Molinari's pitch to the green on the par 5 12th did not check up and rolled over the back and into the water.
Kisner appeared to control another poor wedge shot from Molinari, this one from the back collar at no. 14 some 10 feet by the hole. 16th and a wedge to 3 feet for birdie on the 17th.
Both found tough spots on the 18th, Molinari in a bunker and Kisner in a slight divot hole. . Molinari said, "Molinari went long and left, leaving him a slick putt that he couldn't afford because Kisner had a good look from just inside 15 feet.
The other semifinal was just as tight.
Bjerregaard, coming off an emotional 1-up win over Tiger Woods on Saturday afternoon to reach the final day, never suffered. He was never out of it, either, three times winning holes to tie the match.
Kuchar reached the green in two on the 16th and missed his eagle putt, going up when the 27-year-old Dane missed his birdie putt from about 15 feet. Kuchar birdied the next, only for Bjerregaard to match him with a 10-foot birdie to send it to the 18th.
Needing a birdie to have any chance, Bjerregaard went some 35 feet long and missed the putt. Kuchar lagged his 15-foot birdie to the hole and the match was conceded
Kuchar headed to the final for the second time, having won this World Golf Championship in 2013 on Hunter Mahan. Kisner is already the only two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.
Kisner is the first player since group play began in 2015 at the opening round and reach the final. Of the previous four players who made it to the championship match in consecutive years, only Paul Casey (2009-10) lost both times.