Final round highlights from the WGC-Match Play where Dustin Johnson fought off a comeback from Jon Rahm and Hideto Tanihara recorded an ace. By James Stroud
WGC Match Play Final Round Highlights
In the process, Johnson became the first player to complete the WGC career slam. With 5 WGC victories, The world number 1 now has the second most WGC titles of anybody other than Tiger Woods.
Hideto Tanihara capped off his fantastic week with an ace on the par-3 7th, but he would eventually lose 2 and 1 to Bill Haas in the consolation match.
On route to his victory, Haas nearly got an ace of his own on the 11th after his tee shot cannoned off the bank and rolled to just 2 feet from the cup.
Dustin Johnson raced into a 5 hole lead after just 8 holes in the championship match and it looked as if he would cruise to victory. It could have been even worse for Rahm if he did not make this unconventional par on the 7th.
Both Johnson and Rahm would hit monster drives on the par-5 12th. These tee shots would be the third and sixth longest drives of the week.
Related: Dustin Johnson: What’s In The Bag?
Rahm was 4 down with 6 to play and had to be aggressive if he was to make a comeback. This brilliant tee shot on the 13th from the Farmers Insurance Open Champion helped cut the gap to 3 holes with 5 to play.
Related: Jon Rahm Wins Farmers Insurance Open
Rahm would not give up and this birdie on the 15th ensured he would be 2 down with 3 to play. The world number one was looking nervy going into the closing holes as he had no answer to the Spaniard’s shot-making.
Rahm put together a scintillating back-9 and his unlikely comeback was nearly complete after this fine putt on the 16th.
1 down going into the last, Rahm needed to win the 18th to force extra holes. He drove the green on the last with a 382 yard drive in a desperate attempt to restore parity.
Unfortunately for Rahm he could not complete his comeback as Johnson held his nerve to close out the victory. The 2016 U.S Open Champion has now won in each of his last 3 starts having also won in Mexico earlier this month and at the Genesis Open in February.
Related: Dustin Johnson Wins Genesis Open
WGC Match Play Second Round Highlights
Rory McIlroy was eliminated from the tournament without playing a shot on Thursday.
The four time major winner was handed a walkover following Gary Woodland’s withdrawal but Soren Kjeldsen’s win over Emiliano Grillo means the world number 2 cannot qualify from his group.
McIlroy will instead be forced to play a dead rubber against Grillo on Friday.
Woodland cited family issues as his reason for withdrawing. Fransesco Molinari also withdrew from the competition following his loss against Thongchai Jaidee with a wrist injury.
Alonsgside Kjeldsen, World number 11 Alex Noren also ensured his progress to the last 16 with a 3 and 2 victory over Bernd Wiesberger.
Related: Alex Noren What’s in the Bag?
This superb bunker shot from the Swede on the par 5 12th was awarded PGA Tour’s shot of the day.
Tyrell Hatton made it two wins from two as he overcame Jeunghun Wang 2 up thanks to a series of long range putts.
Jordan Spieth made amends for yesterday’s defeat to Hideto Tanihara by defeating Yuta Ikeda 4 and 2.
In the other group 5 game, Ryan Moore and Tanihara both finished well to share the spoils.
Dustin Johnson had no trouble beating Martin Kaymer 3 and 2, but was somewhat fortuitous on the par 5 16th as his third shot clattered into the German’s ball.
Related: Dustin Johnson What’s In The Bag?
Ross Fisher eclipsed Rory McIlroy’s tee shot yesterday by hitting a 423 yard drive of his own on the par 5 12th.
The Englishman would go on to record an impressive 2 and 1 victory over 4th seed, Hideki Matsuyama.
Marc Leishman may have lost his second group game against Pat Perez 2 and 1, but he did manage to execute this audacious effort on the par 5 16th.
His driver off the deck looked a lot better than Sergio Garcia’s effort on Wednesday and the Australian would have been ecstatic with the final result as his effort finished 12 feet away from the hole.
William McGirt continued his exquisite run of par-saves as he chipped in on the 16th on route to a 2 and 1 victory over Branden Grace.
Si Woo Kim managed to salvage a halve against J.B Holmes following this bunker shot on the last.
Unfortunately for both Kim and Holmes. this draw ensured both players will be eliminated from the competition.
Kisner and Reed both sunk long range putts on the 8th but it was the former who eventually prevailed 1 up.
Paul Casey managed to defeat Byeong Hun An 1 up to set up a winner takes all contest against Charl Schwartzel on Friday.
Related: Paul Casey Signs With TaylorMade
41 players still have everything to play for as the group stage round comes to a conclusion on Friday.
WGC Match Play First Round Highlights
There were a number of huge surprises on the first day in the WGC-Dell Technologies Matchplay at Austin Country Club.
Rory McIlroy, the number 2 seed, was the first to suffer a surprise defeat as he succumbed 2 and 1 to an in-form Soren Kjeldsen.
Despite this defeat there was no shortage of highlights from the four-time major winner, including this incredible 410 yard drive at the Par 5 12th.
Amazingly this was not the longest drive of the day, with Jon Rahm eclipsing McIlroy’s effort with a 416 yard drive of his own at the same hole.
Jordan Spieth would also suffer a huge upset as he fell 4 and 2 to Japan’s Hideto Tanihara.
Jason Day was forced to withdraw after 6 holes in his match against Pat Perez and will play no further part in the tournament.
Day’s mother has recently been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and he was in visible distress following his withdrawal.
World number one Dustin Johnson cruised past 2012 US Open champion Webb Simpson 5 and 3.
Related: Dustin Johnson What’s in the Bag?
Elsewhere, Patrick Reed had to settle with a half-point against Jason Dufner.
The number 9 seed made a very unconventional par on the 18th to ensure he shared the points.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Champion Tommy Fleetwood continued his fine form as he recorded a 1 up victory against Zach Johnson in group 16.
Related: Tommy Fleetwood What’s in the Bag?
The Race to Dubai leader hit a number of fine shots in his round, including this one at the 10th.
Phil Mickelson made the perfect start to his tournament as he defeated Si Woo Kim.
The American made a fast start to his day as he surged into a 4 up lead after just 7 holes before closing out a 5 and 3 victory.
Sergio Garcia made a very risky play in his match with Shane Lowry as he decided to use the driver from the fairway.
The execution was probably not what the Spaniard was after but he would definitely have been relieved with the end result.
Marc Leishman followed up his win last week with a 3 and 2 triumph over Lee Westwood.
Related: Marc Leishman What’s in the Bag?
Last week’s winner at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was awarded PGA Tour’s shot of the day with this exquisite shot at the 13th.
It was an entertaining day of golf and there will be more stunning shots over the next few days.