30 March, 2017
NOTES: After the tournament's inaugural year, 1999, Geoff Ogilvy is the only player to win the WGC Match Play event in his first appearance, in 2006.
World number one Dustin Johnson remained on course to create history as he reached the final of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday.
Tanihara sent an eight-iron right on line at the 201-yard hole, and his ball pitched 50 feet short of the target before running up the slope onto the top plateau and rolling straight into the middle of the cup to prompt cheers which echoed around the Austin Country Club. It was his third straight victory, and it left no doubt as to who is the No. 1 golfer in the world. "There's still a lot of room for improvement in my game, so I'm just going to keep working on it".
It's just getting harder to find a candidate to stop him.
While the stats will show that Johnson dominated the tournament, he did have a bit of a scare from rookie Jon Rahm.
That was high praise, and Dustin Johnson keeps backing it up.
Johnson earns $1.66 million by winning the Dell Match Play, while Rahm will take home $1.045 million, per SB Nation's Brendan Porath. "I definitely need to be in the fairways and put the pressure on him, make him attack". It lasted longer that he wanted. Johnson said. "I don't care".
The big-hitting Johnson, who swept aside his previous five opponents with easy victories during the week, made two crucial pars coming home. He won in 7,800 feet of altitude in Mexico City, and then he saved his best work for perhaps the toughest tournament to win.
World number one Dustin Johnson cemented himself as the world's second-most successful man in golf's World Golf Championships with his WGC-Match Play victory.
He never trailed over 112 holes in seven matches.
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Johnson hadn't been beyond the 16th hole until Sunday.
"I'm really proud of what I did, it was a great week", he said.
"If his putter had been hot, I wouldn't have had a chance, no question", Rahm said.
"The front nine was a very steep and deep low, I must say", Rahm explained. I've actually played good there the last two years.
It was the third PGA Tour victory of his career, and felt just as sweet as when he won at Pebble Beach with Bill Murray as his partner, and four years ago at the Houston Open to get to the Masters. He won the HSBC Champions in 2013, and claimed a title at the Cadillac Championship at Doral in 2015. He was on the bag for Abbostsford, B.C.'s Nick Taylor when he won the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2014. This victory does not get him into the Masters because the Puerto Rico Open is held the same week as a World Golf Championships.
"Uh ... pretty good", Johnson said.
His nonchalant demeanor is so noticeable that on Saturday he was asked if he even has a pulse.
In addition to beating Rahm and Tanihara, Johnson topped major champions Webb Simpson, Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson. I'm just 22. It's my rookie season. A lot longer match this afternoon (against Jon Rahm) than I would have liked it to have been. Made a great birdie there on 15 and 16. 'I like being the No 1 player in the world'.
An engrossing duel rumbled on to the 18th, Rahm overshooting the green from 368 yards away with his tee shot before leaving a chip 25ft short - he was not helped by a loud noise when mid-swing. But his chip down the slope checked up and stayed short of the ridge, leaving him a downhill putt that broke so sharply that he aimed almost at a 90-degree angle away from the hole.