Watson denies Thomas number one spot to set up Kisner showdown

Dustin Johnson will remain world number one after Bubba Watson beat Justin Thomas to set up a final against Kevin Kisner in Austin.

Bubba Watson hits a drive at Austin Country Club   -  Getty Images

Bubba Watson denied Justin Thomas a place in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play final and top spot in the rankings to set up an all-American showdown with Kevin Kisner. 

Thomas had won all five games at Austin Country Club this week, but he met his match in the form of Watson, who won 3 and 2 to reach the final for the first time in his career.

Watson was due to fly off on holiday on Sunday as he did not fancy his chances of reaching the last four, but instead he is one victory away from claiming his second title of the year.

Thomas was not at his best and Watson took advantage, the two-time Masters champion leading throughout the semi-final after starting with a birdie at the first.

An excellent tee shot at the fifth led to Watson giving himself the opportunity to sink another birdie at the fifth, which he grasped to go 2up, and he had a three-hole advantage after a 25-foot eagle putt at six.

Thomas reduced the deficit to just one at the turn, but 35th seed Watson won the 10th and 12th to take a firm grip on the contest and there was no way back for his compatriot, so Dustin Johnson retains his status as world number one.

Kisner came out on top in a topsy-turvy encounter with Alex Noren, beating the Swede in a play-off.

Noren bogeyed the first hole to fall behind, but turned it around to lead one up at the turn. A Kisner eagle at 12 made it all square and it needed an extra hole to separate the pair.

Kisner had a let-off when 13th seed Noren failed to sink a seven-footer to win it at the 18th and a par was enough for the American to progress after his opponent made a mess of a putt from off the green in the play-off.

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