WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Dustin defeats Rahm in final
March 26, 2017
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- March 26, 2017
- Dustin Johnson claimed his first Dell Technologies Match Play title on Sunday.
AUSTIN, Texas -- World No. 1 Dustin Johnson won the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday, beating Jon Rahm in the championship final 1 up at Austin Country Club.
The win completes the WGC career slam for Johnson, who had previously won the other three legs. He becomes the first player to ever achieve that feat. Johnson also won the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this month, and has now won his last three consecutive PGA TOUR starts.
Here are the recaps from Sunday matches, including the consolation match won by Bill Haas and the two semifinal matches.
CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL recap
DUSTIN JOHNSON (1), USA def. JON RAHM (21), Spain ... 1 up
Johnson completed an amazing week in which he played 112 holes and never trailed at any point, winning his first Dell Technologies Match Play title and his fifth WGC of his career. But for the second time Sunday, he was pushed to the 18th hole, as Rahm rallied on the back nine with three birdies to make it interesting. But his last-gasp effort at par-4 18th fell short, as he couldn't make birdie after driving over the green. Rahm, making his first Dell Match Play start, was his own worst enemy on the front nine. He failed to win either of the first two holes, missing 15-foot birdie putts while Johnson had birdie putts of 92 and 42 feet. Rahm then missed a 6-foot par putt after finding trouble off the third tee. That started a stretch in which Johnson won five of six holes to take command of the match. Three of those holes were decided by Rahm bogeys, as his frustration mounted with each lost hole. 5-down going into the ninth, Rahm finally won a hole thanks to a Johnson bogey. Another bogey at 10 reduced DJ's advantage to 3 up, but he stemmed the tide at the 11th with a 6-foot par putt. Rahm, knowing he needed to be aggressive, made a late rally by winning the 13th, 15th and 16th holes with birdies.
Match stats: Johnson won 6 holes, led 16 holes, made three birdies and two bogeys. Rahm won 5 holes, led 0 holes, made three birdies and three bogeys.
Said Johnson: "It's impossible to win every week. I know that. Obviously I've won my last three. But I'm just going to have to keep working hard. Keep working on the things that I'm working on right now. And just keep trying to get better. Like I was saying before, being No. 1, it kind of drives me to work harder and to get better. There's still a lot of room for improvement in my game. So I'm just going to keep working on it."
Said Rahm: "Anytime I did something, if it could go wrong, it just went wrong. Besides that break on No. 5 ... the front nine was just a disaster. Luckily for me, DJ missed a couple of shots on 9 and 10. I made a good par on 9, great up and down on 10. And that got me going pretty good. Too bad on 12. On 13 I said, that's it. No more complaining. No more whining, let's just get it done and almost did. Made a great birdie there on 15 and 16. I tried to hang on as much as I could. It's just golf. It won't be the first or the last time. And I'm sure some day I'll be back here maybe on top."
Dustin Johnson wins WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play
CONSOLATION FINAL recap
BILL HAAS (42), USA def. HIDETO TANIHARA (54), Japan ... 2 and 1
Haas made a terrific rally on the back nine after making the turn 2 down, claiming third place this week -- his best finish in seven Dell Match Play starts. Tanihara had the big highlight of the match, though, making a hole-in-one at the par-3 seventh. Tanihara was 1 up through 12, but made two consecutive bogeys to give up the lead, and Haas held on from there.
Match stats: Haas won 6 holes, led 4 holes, made three birdies and two bogeys. Tanihara won 4 holes, led 8 holes, made one ace and a conceded eagle and four bogeys.
Said Haas: "Obviously the fact that we played that match, you want to come out on top. I think that would have stung even more to lose both matches on Sunday. I thought I played -- I played my worse that match of any match. And I think maybe he was a little tired as well as I was. But I was fortunate, a few good breaks on the back nine, and he missed a few putts for me. It feels good to come out on top. I didn't made seven birdies and win that way, but I'll take it any way I can get it."
Said Tanihara: "The hole-in-one, the crowd, they went wild. And when everybody is happy, you tend to get happy, too. So it was a great feeling."
Hideto Tanihara plays it perfect for an ace at Dell Match Play
DUSTIN JOHNSON (1), USA def. HIDETO TANIHARA (54), Japan ... 1 up
Johnson was in firm control early. After an eagle at the sixth and a birdie at the 7th, he was 3 up and seemed to be cruising into the finals. But the underdog Tanihara was not about to go quietly. His birdie at the eighth, and a Dustin lip-out of a par putt at the 10th reduced DJ's lead to 1 up. A key hole was the par-5 12th. Tanihara found the green in two for a great eagle opportunity, while Dustin came up short of the green. But Dustin scrambled for birdie while Tanihara three-putted for par to lose the hole. Give credit to Tanihara -- he bounced back with consecutive birdies to square the match after 14. The match stayed that way going to 17, a hole Dustin had yet to play this week. He looked quite comfortable, though, as his tee shot left him 6-1/2 feet for birdie, which he converted to take the lead. Tanihara had the advantage at the 18th green, with a birdie putt from 12-1/2 feet while DJ missed the green. But Tanihara missed his putt and DJ made his 8-footer for par to close it out.
Match stats: Johnson won 6 holes, led 14 holes, made 1 eagle, 4 birdies and 3 bogeys. Tanihara won 5 holes, led 0 holes, made 3 birdies and 2 bogeys.
Said Johnson: "I thought I played pretty solid. I hit the ball well, drove it well. I hit a lot of good putts and just on the back nine, they just didn't go in. I hit the hole a bunch on the back nine, hitting good putts with good speed. That's what I've got to keep doing, rolling the putter really well and I think I'll be tough to beat this afternoon."
Dustin Johnson scrambles to win the match at Dell Match Play
JON RAHM (21), Spain def. BILL HAAS (42), USA ... 3 and 2
Rahm and Haas both played impressive bogey-free golf through 13 holes. Rahm made his fifth birdie of the day with a 6-1/2 footer at 13 and went 1 up. But he found trouble on his approach on 14, and bogey was imminent. With a chance to square the match, however, Haas hit a poor chip and could not convert his par putt from 14 feet. Having been bailed out, Rahm won the 15th hole with a 10-foot birdie, and closed out the match with a 7-foot birdie at the 16th. Rahm, making his first Dell Match Play start and just his second WGC appearance, now becomes the first Spaniard to reach the final.
Match stats: Rahm won 5 holes, led 5 holes, made 7 birdies and 1 bogey. Haas won 2 holes, led 2 holes, made 4 birdies and 1 bogey.
Said Rahm: "Towards the end, especially, I really made a couple of clutch putts. I think all day both of us played great. The front nine we went a little bit back and forth. On the back nine we kept playing good. We just weren't making the putts. I made that on 13. And then the one on 15 was just the one that put me in the perfect direction to play 16."
Said Haas: "I just didn't make anything on the back nine ... He played nice, an unbelievable birdie from the rough at 15. ... I'm really disappointed."
Jon Rahm advances to the Championship match at Dell Match Play