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Week 12: Dustin Johnson makes it 3 wins from 3 as World No. 1

March 27, 2017


 

World Golf Championships-- Dell Technologies Match Play

The final day lasted longer than Dustin Johnson wanted. The outcome was what everyone expected.

Johnson, a golfing machine with no discernible weakness and hardly any pulse, won the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday for his third straight victory, this one making him the first person to sweep the four World Golf Championships.

He had to work the hardest for this title.

Johnson was taken to the 18th hole in the semifinal before making an 8-foot putt to beat Hideto Tanihara, and then Jon Rahm rallied from 5 down with 10 holes to play until his fearless charge fell short on the final hole.

Johnson tapped in a 30-inch putt for a 1-up victory, completing a dominant week in which he never trailed in the 112 holes he played over seven matches.

"What am I going to say that you guys don't know?" Rahm said. "If his putter had been hot, I wouldn't have had a chance, no question. ... It's amazing how he's able to keep cool the entire round. It amazes me. And he's just a perfect, complete player."

Johnson now has 15 victories in his career, six of them dating to his first major at the U.S. Open last summer at Oakmont. Three of them were World Golf Championships at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the WGC-Mexico Championship and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He won the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in 2013.

Asked to size up his feat, Johnson said, "Pretty good."

There's really not much else to say. He led 94 percent of the holes he played at Austin Country Club, a tournament record. He won 46 of those 112 holes. When asked about his pulse on Saturday, Johnson said, "It's beating."

And on Sunday?

"It got a little faster than I would have liked starting on about 16," he said with a smile. "But I was able to hang in there."

Johnson was 4 up with six holes to play when Rahm, a bold Spanish rookie with a big game, hit driver over the water and onto the 13th green to win the hole with a birdie. He stuck a wedge close on the 15th for another birdie. Rahm hit a shot through the trees on the 16th and won the hole with a 30-foot birdie. And just like that, he was 1 down with two holes to play.

"I just made a swing as hard as I could," Rahm said. "And somehow the ball went under the first tee, rose just over the next one ... and went through to 100 yards. I don't know what happened. I think either Seve, God, someone right there or both of them just made a gap in the trees and made my ball go through there."

Indeed, it was the kind of magic Spanish great Seve Ballesteros for so long produced.

Rahm's comeback, however, fell short. Playing the 356-yard 18th hole for the first time in competition all week, and needing a birdie to send this heavyweight bout to overtime, Rahm smashed driver over the back of the green. But his chip down the slope checked up and stayed short of the ridge, leaving him a downhill putt that broke so sharply that he aimed nearly at a 90-degree angle away from the hole. He did well to make par.

Johnson came up just short of the green, chipped close and rolled in it to complete another big week.

"That was a tough day, a long day," Johnson said. "I'm proud of the way I played, the way I hung in there."

PGA Tour- Puerto Rico Open

D.A. Points was never better at the start, and good enough at the end.

Points opened the final round of the Puerto Rico Open with five straight birdies, and then overcame a rugged stretch by saving pars and piling up enough birdies for a 6-under 66 on Sunday and a two-shot victory.

It was the third PGA TOUR victory of his career, and felt just as sweet as when he won at Pebble Beach with Bill Murray as his partner, and four years ago at the Shell Houston Open to get to the Masters.

This won't send him to Augusta National because it was played opposite a World Golf Championship. It was no less important for Points, who lost his card a year ago and now has a full two-year exemption.

"I was just really proud of myself for finding some way -- hitting about as low as I've ever been golf-wise and finding my out -- and then to be able to hang in there and win today is something that I wasn't sure if I had in me," he said. "And I'm really proud of myself."

WEB.COM Tour- Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER

It’s been close to five years since Casey Wittenberg has entered the winner’s circle. The 32-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee, carded a final-round, 2-under-par 69 to end the drought and hoist the trophy at the 26th annual Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER, his second win at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club.

Wittenberg’s 21-under-par 263 total is the second lowest 72-hole total in tournament history. In 2012, he set the tournament record at 24-under-par 260 in his maiden Web.com Tour win, collected a second trophy in Kansas, won the money list and earned Player of the Year honors.

“In a weird way, it’s been a long time; you never forget how to win,” said Wittenberg, who moved to No. 5 on the money list. “You recall back on those moments when you did win in the past, but this one is maybe a little more special for me. I’m married now, I wasn’t married before. My dad was here; it’s fun to have them around.”

PGA Tour Latinoamerica-2017 Honduras Open presented by Indura Golf Resort

In the final round of the 2017 Honduras Open presented by Indura Golf Resort, Patrick Newcomb faced off with Hank Lebioda in a two-hole playoff and emerged the winner to claim his first PGA TOUR Latinoamerica title.

Challenge Tour- Barclays Kenya Open

Aaron Rai sealed an impressive and emotional victory at the Barclays Kenya Open, with his Kenya-born mother tearfully embracing her champion son on the 18th green at Muthaiga Golf Club in front of rapturous crowds.

The Englishman was adopted by the Nairobi faithful as one of their own this week and responded with some scintillating golf on the final day, making seven birdies in a round of 65 as his 17 under par total was three shots better than nearest rival Adrien Saddier.

The 22 year old narrowly missed out on a European Tour card last year when he finished 18th on the Road to Oman but, with victory at the European Challenge Tour’s season opener, he now tops the Rankings, albeit with 26 tournaments still to come.

With President Uhuru Kenyatta arriving to watch the closing holes, Rai put on a presidential display of golf, applying early leaderboard pressure to his rivals with birdies on the second and third and barely putting a foot wrong all day.

Pro Golf Tour- Open Ocean

Precise drives, strong irons and finally two birdies at the right time: With a great performance Dylan Boshart from the Netherlands secured himself the trophy of the Open Ocean in Agadir and by that the first title of his career as a professional. Rounds of 69, 69 and 70, total 5 under par, made the 26-year-old from Rotterdam finish as a winner on the par-71 course of the Golf de l’Ocean, one stroke ahead of his fellow countryman Maarten Bosch and Czech Stanislav Matus who share rank 2. German Stephan Gross achieved the fourth place of the leaderboard with 3 under par.

MENA Tour- Royal Golf Mohammedia Open

Pierre Junior Verlaar conjured a piece of magic on the front nine to win the MENA Tour’s Royal Golf Mohammedia Open in style at Royal Golf D'Anfa Club Tuesday.

Starting the final day three shots off the pace, the 18-year-old Dutch prodigy blistered the outward nine with six birdies en route to a bogey-free 65 to reach nine-under for the tournament, beating Morocco’s Ahmed Marjan and England’s Andrew Marshall by two shots.

With this dramatic victory, Verlaar became the second amateur after India’s Dubai-based Rayhan Thomas to win a MENA Golf Tour event. His closing 65 also matched the lowest final round by a winner, tying the feat of England's Joe Heraty at the 2016 Sahara Kuwait Championship.

 





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