Johnson heads final four at Match Play

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In those matches, Johnson beat No. 44 Zach Johnson 5 and 4; Noren defeated No. 20 Brooks Koepka 3 and 1; Fisher upset No. 13 Bubba Watson 4 and 3; Tanihara was victorious over No. 12 Paul Casey of England 2 and 1; Kjeldsen handled No. 48 William McGirt 5 and 4; Rahm waylaid No. 61 Charles Howell III 6 and 4; Mickelson dominated No. 28 Marc Leishman of Australia 4 and 3; and Haas parred the final hole to dispatch Na 1-up.

Johnson, going after a third straight PGA Tour title, faces one of this tournament's biggest surprises in Hideko Tanihara of Japan. "I feel like I've got a bit of an advantage, just because I'm playing so well".

Mickelson finished group play unbeaten after a 6-and-5 rout of fellow American J.B. Holmes while Rahm downed fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia 6 and 4 to win his group at Austin (Texas) Country Club and reach Saturday morning's round of 16.

Haas closed out the 2-and-1 victory on the next hole and will face off against Rahm on Sunday.

Johnson won the first three holes against Noren and was 3-up at the turn, but the world number one missed a short par putt to lose 10 and found the water to drop 11, then watched as Noren rolled in a stunning 40-foot birdie putt at the par-5 12th to square the match - the first time all week any foe had been level with Johnson after any hole.

Seeking a third win in succession and to become the third player after Rory McIlroy (2015) and Woods (three times) to win this event as top seed, Johnson had not been taken to the 17th hole all week.

Dustin Johnson has never made it to the semifinal stages of this event, both in the old 64-man single elimination format or under the new round robin pool play setup.

"I hit some good shots. and drove it well".

Five-time major victor Phil Mickelson, Britain's Paul Casey and Spain's Jon Rahm advanced to the knockout rounds of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship with impressive triumphs Friday.

Rahm will take on Charles Howell III, who won a sudden-death play-off against Rafa Cabrera Bello and Tyrrell Hatton on the fifth hole with a birdie from four feet to advance as the Group 10 victor. That's the most eligible players to skip Match Play since 2001, when it began January 3 in Australia and 38 players chose not to play. "And knowing me, I might have also thought, 'I hope it's better than that". "That was just outside of him, and to hole that putt, put a little pressure on him, and then he missed it, I think that was a pretty important shot there".

Spain's illustrious conveyor belt of golf talent means Jon Rahm was always destined to be subject to comparison.

Kevin Na needed only one hole in his play-off against Matthew Fitzpatrick to win Group Six. "I definitely need to be in the fairways and put the pressure on him, make him attack".