Dustin Johnson withdraws from Houston Open after winning WGC-Dell Match Play
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 21:31
But Johnson remains the form player in world golf, cementing his status as world No1 with what was his third tournament win in the past five weeks, during which he has pocketed £3.64m in prize money.
There were three such times to celebrate a birdie.
Dustin Johnson cemented his name in the record books with a dramatic 1up victory over Jon Rahm in the Championship match of the WGC Dell Match Play.
With the majors season getting underway at the Masters next week, Johnson moved into outright favouritism and said what everyone else is thinking. "It was a tough match today against Jon". I feel like I'm playing really solid.
Speaking ahead of the final, Johnson said: "He's a great young player and he's playing really good right now".
The momentum changed a little on the downhill par-4 ninth, on which Rahm blasted a 375-yard drive and won when Johnson bogeyed. He wanted to be the youngest victor of the Dell tournament.
While he remained calm and collected throughout the duration of the tournament, Johnson had to admit that it was a tiring day for him. His main goal was to prove to the rest of the field that he deserved to be there.
Rahm's ball rolled to the back of the putting surface, leaving an exceptionally tricky chip. On the par-5 16th, Johnson missed an 8-foot birdie putt to win the hole. Rahm conceded the noise startled him, that he briefly diverted his eyes, which screwed up his putt.
Johnson won his third straight tournament of the year.
Despite pressure from Rahm, Johnson parred his final two holes, to win the World Matchplay for the first time in his career.
It's not just that Johnson never trailed at any point during the week. Further, Johnson set a record by leading 94% of the holes that he played, beating Donald's previous record of 91%.
Their drives on the par-5 12th hole totaled a remarkable 862 yards. The 22-year-old rookie from Spain still hasn't played the 18th hole since a practice round Tuesday.
But Tanihara couldn't continue his magic.
Chris Stroud, with his first 54-hole lead as he tried to win his first PGA Tour event in 277 starts, closed with a 71 and finished four shots behind. Haas' par on No. 17 clinched victory. "I think my game's exactly where it needs to be".
It had been a marathon day of golf, starting at 9 a.m. and finishing nine hours later. Hideto Tanihara, who Johnson defeated in the semifinals, even admitted Johnson appeared that way. While 2017 has been a rocky campaign for the former U.S. Amateur champ, DeChambeau followed up a T-27 at the Valspar Championship with four solid rounds in Puerto Rico, finishing two strokes behind Points in a tie for second.
Rahm dispatched Bill Haas in the semifinals 3 and 2. But Rahm, who was down five through eight holes, surged late and threatened the World No. 1.
Thirty minutes before they were due to tee off, Rahm showed how pumped up he was by walking on to the practice ground and plonking his practice balls next to where Johnson - the only other man on the range - was warming up.
"I believe in my ability, and I know what it takes to win out here", Johnson said.
"Uh ... pretty good", Johnson said.
It was the second time this year that Rahm and DJ have been in the running for the top spot in a WGC tournament, and it turned out to be a thrilling contest between two of the biggest hitters in the game. Luckily for me, he did, which he doesn't usually do, and I was able to take advantage of that.