Graeme McDowell and Kevin Kisner end long wait for redemptive wins

Kevin Kisner watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club Sunday. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Kevin Kisner watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club Sunday. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell claimed his first title since 2015 with victory in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.

McDowell carded five birdies and two bogeys in a closing 69 to finish 18 under par, a shot ahead of Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes and American Chris Stroud, who had held a one-shot lead with two holes to play.

However, while Stroud bogeyed the par-three 17th, playing partner McDowell hit a superb tee shot to six feet and converted the birdie putt before both players bogeyed the 18th.

The victory gives McDowell a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and will lift the former US Open champion from 257th in the world to inside the top 150.

“It’s been a rough few years,” the 39-year-old said. “It’s been a grind. On 16th green, I said to myself, ‘You’ve got to do something that’s tournament-winning’. The shot to 17 was tournament-winning level.”

Kevin Kisner beat Matt Kuchar to win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play title at Austin Country Club.

Twelve month after being thrashed in the final, Kisner – who ended the 10-match winning run of Open champion Francesco Molinari in the semi-finals – beat Kuchar 3&2 to win his third PGA Tour title and the biggest of his career.

The 35-year-old was never behind in an error-strewn final but saved the best until last with a birdie on the par-five 16th to seal victory after Kuchar had left his eagle attempt from 20 feet agonisingly short.

Kisner, who lost 7&6 to Bubba Watson 12 months ago, said: “I’m relieved. It’s a long week, I played great and did the things I needed to do to win and that’s what you have to do in match play.

“I’m glad to come back after my performance last year and do a little better. I said to Roger (Maltbie, TV commentator) in the fifth fairway that we’re doing a lot better – I was five down last year right here.

“I didn’t think Matt played his best, I don’t think either one of us did but it’s a long week and we were both grinding our butts off.”

Molinari had earlier fought back from two down with three holes to play against Kisner with birdies on the 16th and 17th, only to lose the match by three-putting the 18th. It was the first time the Open champion had played the 18th after enjoying five comfortable wins to reach the last four.