Noren proves Match Play credentials

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Kisner didn't win a hole until rolling in a birdie on the par-3 11th, but Watson closed out the match on the following hole. So he shot a 30 or 29 on the front nine, right? "Every time I looked up, there was nowhere to look", Kisner said.

Explaining the downturn in his fortunes, Thomas said: "I had a really hard time getting focused and being anxious about my match as opposed to things that can happen and thinking about potentially this afternoon [Sunday]".

"A favorite? That's stuff that we don't care about", Watson said. He reached the semifinals his first year in 2011 - losing to Martin Kaymer, the PGA champion, for Kaymer to go to No. 1 in the world - and only made it to the weekend once after that.

Watson had scheduled a vacation out of the country with his family on Sunday, reasoning that he hardly ever makes it this far in golf's most fickle format.

Aphibarnrat has already won a European Tour match play event this year - the World Super 6 in Australia, where he rode his luck to win.

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The nine-time European Tour victor beat none other than Patrick Reed - fast becoming, if not already, an American Ryder Cup legend - in the first knock-out round, before overcoming the World Number Two, and leader of the USA's Ryder Cup points list, 24 year old Thomas. He went 6-0-1 for the week, with only that halved match on Friday going all 18 holes. Thomas had to drain his birdie putt to have any chance, and he did. Watson made his birdie from 3 feet for the win.

Thomas said he had been too consumed with what was at stake in the semifinals.

"I know I'm not supposed to say this on live TV but I want him to know how much l want to be there in France. I couldn't stop thinking about it, to be perfectly honest".

"When you are young everything seems so easy but it gets more hard as you get older. It has been a tough week - I have played seven matches in five days and I admit that I was yawning out there".

Alex Noren earned his third top-three finish of the season by defeating Thomas 5 and 3 in the consolation match.

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CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) - Eun-Hee Ji had a hole-in-one to dramatically finish off Cristie Kerr and the other challengers in the Kia Classic.

"So for me to stay focused, stay committed to my shots, there's probably about four shots for the whole week that I wasn't committed to. I had this one (match) circled this week and I'm glad I came out and performed pretty well". "It's going to be nice to head to the Masters in really good form and I'm looking forward to it". My wife Angie gave me a good talking to and told me to man up.

"I was really angry with myself for the manner of my loss in the semi-final. I holed nice putts".

Last year, Watson was physically ill, down 20 pounds, and mired in one of his worst seasons after a freakish decision to change his golf ball. With his 11th victory on the PGA Tour, he now is back up to No. 21.

"This is my eighth hole in one, but I never have a vehicle for hole-in-one", Ji said.

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