Dustin Johnson held off a brilliant fightback from Jon Rahm to claim a one up victory in the final of the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play, making him the first player in history to have won all four World Golf Championships and just the second player win back-to-back WGC events.
The World Number One won the WGC – Mexico Championship earlier in the month and was in stunning form all week to emulate Tiger Woods and make it consecutive World Golf Championship wins.
“There’s a lot of great players and I’m the first one to win all four WGCs but I feel like there will be some more to do it,” said Johnson. “But I’m very, very pleased with it. I’m very pleased with my play this week. And it was a long week. It was a lot longer match this afternoon than I would have liked it to have been. But Jon was a great competitor and it was a great match.
“It’s impossible to win every week. I know that. Obviously I’ve won my last three. But I’m just going to have to keep working hard. Keep working on the things that I’m working on right now. And just keep trying to get better. Being the Number One player in the world kind of drives me to work harder and to get better. There’s still a lot of room for improvement in my game. So I’m just going to keep working on it.
The American did not trail at any point in any match all week as he made it seven wins out of seven and lost just 23 of the 112 holes he played at Austin Country Club.
Rahm had also been in brilliant form in his first six matches and mounted a spirited fightback from five down after eight holes to take Johnson all the way to the 18th.
Rahm hit an incredible drive through the par four 18th green but hit a poor chip onto the green due to a door slamming in his back swing. It was a sad finish to an exhilarating encounter but the 22 year old vowed to recover quickly from the disappointment.
Rahm has now finished third (WGC – Mexico Championship) and second in his two appearances since joining the European Tour on March 1. The Spaniard is now second in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex with 1,437,325 points, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood leading the way at the top with 1,609,882 points.
“It feels bad because of all the work I did on the back nine to come from almost five down, to almost have a chance,” said Rahm. “I could have got that chip to 12 feet for birdie and maybe win the hole. When something like that happens it’s really unfortunate. I understand if I miss the shot, but when it’s not really your fault, it just makes you feel a little worse. It’s something that I can’t control. I wish it hadn’t happened but there’s a lot of positive to take out of this week. I’ll be sad for a couple of minutes, but then I’ll be fine.
“I’m really proud of what I did. I had all those great up-and-downs on the back nine. It just feels bad that it ended that way, that’s not a good way to win. But obviously it was a great week. I can’t complain. I’m a European Tour member now and I’m thrilled I’m going to have a chance to maybe play in the Ryder Cup. There are hopefully a lot of good things to come.”