Dustin Johnson became the first player to sweep the World Golf Championships with a dominant week that included more drama than he needed in the Dell Technologies Match Play.
Johnson's win in the final match came against the rising star, and future Ryder Cup match-play threat, Jon Rahm. Since then, Johnson has won five times and risen to No. 1 in the world. I feel like I'm playing really solid. And the few times his matches got tight, Johnson kept his opponent at bay.
But Tanihara was unable to sink his birdie putt to prolong the match, enabling Johnson to recover by salvaging par and setting up an eagerly-anticipated showdown with Rahm.
But the US Open champion produced a superb tee shot to set up a birdie from six feet to regain the lead, before scrambling a par on the 18th after Tanihara had missed from 12 feet to force extra holes. Johnson won the WGC-Dell Match Play; his third straight win in as many events. Rahm said. "It's awesome how he's able to keep cool the entire round. So I'm just going to keep working on it".
The championship match of the World Golf Championship Match Play on Sunday between two of the game's true power players, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and young bull Jon Rahm of Spain, was decided by consistency rather than brute strength with, perhaps, a little bit of experience thrown in for good measure. He won the HSBC Champions in 2013, and claimed a title at the Cadillac Championship at Doral in 2015. "Unfortunately for me, today was the worst day I've played golf all week".
Since becoming world number one for the first time by winning the Genesis Open in the environs of Hollywood last month, the 32-year-old American has seemingly forgotten how to lose, becoming the first golfer since Rory McIlroy in his glorious summer of 2014 to win three tournaments in as many starts. I really like going to Augusta. "But I'm very, very pleased with this".
"Being the No 1 player in the world kind of drives me to work harder and to get better".
Johnson took advantage of Rahm's nerves and suddenly balky putter to accept a 5-up lead through the first eight holes of the championship match.
Haas beat Tanihara 2&1 in the play-off for third place, although Tanihara had the thrill of making a hole-in-one on the seventh.
No wonder that when Hideto Tanihara was asked for his strategy in his semifinal match against Johnson, he said through his translator, "He looks unbeatable". "I was trying to do the best I could, but just things weren't happening, unfortunately for me". In the early throes of this tournament Johnson was asked whether he thought he intimidates fellow players.
Even three weeks off didn't disturb his rhythm, as he became the first man to win all four of the WGC titles that sit one rung below the majors and have been going since 1999.
Rahm narrowed the deficit when he won the ninth with a par, and won the 10th when Johnson three-putted for bogey.
CARLSBAD, Calif. - Mirim Lee of South Korea shot a 7-under 65 to win the Kia Classic by six strokes Sunday and tie the tournament record of 20-under.
"It's been a long time to be victor of the tournament, so I kind of nervous before I start of game".
That makes him the first player to capture all four World Golf Championships.
His total of 20-under 268 was two shots better than Retief Goosen (64), Bill Lunde (68) and Bryson DeChambeau (67).