Scottie Scheffler golf's new world No 1 after clinching WGC Match Play title

American claims third title of the year with 4&3 final win over Kisner to replace Rahm atop the rankings

Scottie Scheffler poses with the Walter Hagen Cup after defeating Kevin Kisner in the final of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Getty
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Scottie Scheffler powered to victory in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday to claim the world No 1 ranking from Spain's Jon Rahm.

In another milestone for Scheffler this year, the 25-year-old American eased past Kevin Kisner to complete a 4&3 victory at Austin Country Club.

Scheffler's third PGA Tour victory of the year, following wins at the Phoenix Open and Arnold Palmer Invitational, saw him end Rahm's 36-week reign at the top of golf's global rankings.

"I really don't know what to say," an emotional Scheffler said. "I'm just really pleased. It's a tough week, a long week. I figured out my routine to keep some energy, but I'm pretty worn out right now to be honest.

"It's a dream come true to play in front of my hometown fans here, going to school here. I have some good memories on this golf course, coming out to watch this tournament.

"I'm pleased to be playing in it, and even more happy to win it."

Victory could not have been sweeter for Scheffler, the fifth seed who defeated former world No 1 Dustin Johnson in the semi-finals earlieron Sunday and also eliminated defending champion Billy Horschel in the last 16 on Saturday.

Against the 29th seeded Kisner in Sunday's final, Scheffler took control early on, going three up after six holes and playing flawlessly thereafter to retain his advantage.

Scheffler took the lead on the par-4 second hole when Kisner bogeyed after finding the greenside bunker with his second shot.

Scheffler then drained a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fourth to go 2 up, and then two holes later extended his lead on the par-5 sixth with his third birdie of the round. A superb third shot left him just just two feet from the cup for the simplest of birdie putts while Kisner could only make par.

Scheffler then extended his lead on the 14th with another birdie, rolling in a 15-foot putt to leave Kisner four down with four to play and staring at defeat.

Kisner needed something special on the 15th but the writing was on the wall after he could only land his second 20 feet from the hole. He missed the birdie putt to leave Scheffler two putts to seal the championship.

After rolling his first short, Kisner conceded to complete a memorable tournament for Scheffler, beaten in last year's final by Horschel.

Kisner paid tribute to Scheffler in defeat, saying: "He's playing incredible golf. I knew I needed my best – just couldn't get my putter to cooperate."

Updated: March 28, 2022, 5:25 AM
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