WGC Match Play: Francesco Molinari out after Kevin Kisner defeat
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 01/04/19 12:15am
Francesco Molinari saw his remarkable winning run in match play come to an end in the semi-finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The Italian's hopes of a maiden World Golf Championship title were halted by Kevin Kisner on Sunday morning at Austin Country Club, with the American claiming a 1up victory to reach the final for the second year running.
Molinari, who made Ryder Cup history by winning all five of his matches at Le Golf National last autumn, had also won all five of his matches over the previous four days to reach the semi-finals.
The world No 7 will now face Lucas Bjerregaard in the consolation match to see who finishes the week in third spot, while Kisner plays 2013 champion Matt Kuchar in an all-American final.
A tight contest saw Kisner take the lead with a three-foot birdie at the first, only for Molinari to win the second with a two-putt par and move ahead by holing a 15-footer at the third.
Molinari recovered from losing the next two holes to post a close-range birdie at the seventh to reach the turn all-square, before three bogeys in a four-hole stretch from the 12th saw the Open champion slip two behind with three to play.
A tap-in birdie at the 16th and a five-foot gain at the next pulled Molinari back level heading to the par-four last, where he three-putted for a closing bogey to hand Kisner victory.
The other semi-final also went to a final-hole decider, as Bjerregaard - who defeated Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods on Saturday - threatened to eliminated another higher-ranked player.
Kuchar never led by more than one hole at any point in the contest, with Bjerregaard matching the American's 10-foot birdie at the 17th but unable to find another at the 18th to extend the contest.