TWENTY TWO year old Spaniard Jon Rahm wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve on the golf course while his WGC Dell Match Play Finals opponent Dustin Johnson would probably display the same demeanour if he was sitting at home on his back porch sipping a mint julep.
The Johnson approach worked on Sunday at the Austin Country Club, but only just with some hyper aggressive play by Rahm coming down the stretch almost overcoming a five shot deficit the world number one had established on the front nine.
On the 13th Rahm played an all or nothing drive to the green, a 290 odd yard shot over water, into the wind, while the normally aggressive Johnson laid up. Rahm birdied to pull back to 3 Down with five to play but it was always going to be tough against a man going for his fifth World Golf Championship title.
Rahm, a former world amateur champion, was playing his first WGC event, but it is unlikely to be his last.
In the end Johnson won 1UP, after Rahm had again gone for broke on the 356 yard 18th hole with a drive that ended up over the back of the green in a difficult hollow.
It was Johnson’s third straight victory and he became the first golfer to sweep the four World Golf Championships. Overall it was a commanding display, never trailing in any of his seven matches over 112 holes.
“That was a tough day, a long day,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of the way I played, the way I hung in there.”
Australia’s Marc Leishman was knocked out in the Round of 16 by Phil Mickelson while Jason Day pulled out after six holes due to his mother’s cancer surgery.
2017 Dell Match Play Final Round Highlights Video