It's one of my favourite tournaments to play every year.
"I feel like I didn't really give him any holes except for 10..."
Dustin Johnson's only danger is associated with peaking too early.
Dustin Johnson survived his biggest test of a long week in Austin as he edged into the final of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. It lasted longer that he wanted.
22-year-old Jon Rahm had a breakout year in 2016, and he's already snatched one trophy this season at the Farmers Insurance Open in January. Rahm took Johnson to the 18th hole and needed a birdie to force overtime, only for the bathroom door of a portable toilet to slam right as he was hitting a delicate chip.
Three-time Masters victor Mickelson had not trailed this week until Haas opened their match with a birdie.
"Jon played really well, I just didn't really give him anything", said Johnson. And in a tournament record that will be tough to top, Johnson led after 94 per cent of the holes he played - 105 out of 112.
"I'm probably going to learn a lot from this week". "Ask me that in the morning when I wake up". "It's incredible how he's able to keep cool the entire round". Johnson has won three WGC events in a row, dating back to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last June after his U.S. Open win. Rahm also took the 15th, leaving Johnson two up with three to play. Woods didn't win the HSBC Champions in China, only playing it twice after it became a WGC event in 2009.
With the victory, Johnson grabbed his third straight PGA Tour title since moving to No. 1 on the World Ranking last month, his fifth WGC crown overall (while becoming the first player to win all four WGC titles) and the 15th tour win of his career.
"It's beating", Johnson said. "It just all depends if I'm walking up a steep hill or something".
As for his pulse on Sunday when the matches were in doubt until the end? Maybe top eight would get me in.
"'Gimme' distance was impossible, but 10, 12, 15 feet for birdie is what I had in mind. and for that to happen is just unfortunate". Then on the par-3 fourth, Rahm hit the green off the tee, but three-putted from 39 feet to fall 2 down.
Having cut the margin to just one with two to play, the youngster miscued again at the short par-3 17 but saved the situation courtesy of a deft pitch between two sprinkler heads for a par and the half. He did well to make par. After Rahm hit a driver, Johnson chose to layup and while his second shot didn't end up on the green, Rahm's drive was over the green leaving him a hard chip that came up short. "But I was able to hang in there".
Johnson is the rare golfer, the one-in-a-few-million kind of guy, who makes it look easy.
Those answers could be construed as elusive rhetoric from any other player, but in Johnson's case, it's just the plain truth. "Being No. 1 drives me to get better and I can get better".
The Masters is in two weeks.