Watson wins, denies Thomas No. 1 ranking

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Watson wins, denies Thomas No. 1 ranking
Bubba Watson waves to the gallery after winning on the sixth hole against Justin Thomas during round six at the Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament, Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Bubba Watson advanced to his first final in the Dell Technologies Match Play and denied Justin Thomas going to No. 1 in the world.

Watson never trailed in their semifinal match Sunday morning and pulled away early on the back nine. Thomas didn’t win a hole after his lone birdie putt on No. 9, and Watson closed him out, 3 and 2.

Thomas needed to reach the championship match to replace Dustin Johnson at No. 1 in the world.

Watson moves on to face a fellow Georgia alum, Kevin Kisner, who beat Alex Noren of Sweden in 19 holes. Noren had two putts inside 10 feet to win the match in regulation. Kisner won on the par-5 12th when Noren took three putts from the front of the green.