Dell

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tough match to­day against Jon. And I re­ally didn’t give him any­thing. I three-putted 10. That was about the only hole I gave him. He played tough.”

Rahm, the 22-year-old from Spain who played for Ari­zona State, des­per­ately wanted to beat John­son. He wanted to be the youngest win­ner of the Dell tour­na­ment. He mused about his match with John­son on so­cial me­dia. His main goal was to prove to the rest of the field that he de­served to be there.

Rahm was as emo­tional as John­son was emo­tion­less. Rahm openly winced if he made a bad shot. He took off his hat and wiped the sweat off his fore­head. He gave a plead­ing look to his put­ter, try­ing to fig­ure out what was go­ing so wrong early in the round.

Rahm grew more an­i­mated as the course wound to­ward the shores of Lake Austin and onto the back nine. What had been a five­hole ad­van­tage for John­son de­te­ri­o­rated as Rahm got hot and be­gan drop­ping birdie putts.

By the 18th hole, John­son’s lead was down to one.

But Rahm was crest­fallen af­ter his birdie putt on the fi­nal hole flew six feet past the pin. In the mid­dle of his putt, some­one slammed the bathroom door on a por­ta­ble toi­let. Rahm con­ceded the noise star­tled him, that he briefly di­verted his eyes, which screwed up his putt. Af­ter he saw his mis­take, he rubbed his chin, then turned away.

“It feels so bad be­cause of all the work I did on the back nine to come from al­most five down to al­most have a chance,” Rahm said.

John­son won his third straight tour­na­ment of the year. He also be­came the first golfer ever to win all four WGC tour­na­ments. And he upped his record to 12-3 in Austin. A year ago, John­son reached the quar­ter­fi­nals. This past week, he won all seven matches, most by a com­fort­able mar­gin. He was so dom­i­nant that he never trailed in any match and he led for 105 of the 112 holes he played.

Mean­while, Bill Haas over­came a two-hole deficit to beat Hideto Tani­hara for third place. Tani­hara had the most dra­matic shot of the en­tire tour­na­ment early in his round. His tee shot on the 207-yard par 3 sev­enth hit the front of the green and rolled for more than 30 feet into the hole. It was only the fourth-ever hole in one in the 19-year tour­na­ment his­tory.

But Tani­hara couldn’t con­tinue his magic. He posted four bo­geys on the back nine. Haas’ par on No. 17 clinched vic­tory.

“I thought I played — I played my worse that match of any match,” Haas said of his win over Tani­hara. “And I think maybe he was a lit­tle tired as well as I was.”

It had been a marathon day of golf, start­ing at 9 a.m. and fin­ish­ing nine hours later.

In the semi­fi­nals, Tani­hara pushed John­son to the limit. John­son won, 1 up, but the two were tied from Nos. 14-16. Rahm’s semi­fi­nal against Haas ended on the 16th hole. The two had been tied un­til the 13th hole. That’s when Rahm reeled off four birdies in five holes.

Rahm had thrown a scare into John­son ear­lier this month at WGC-Mex­ico. John­son won the tour­na­ment, but Rahm blasted through the back nine on the fi­nal round with an ea­gle and two birdies. Rahm fin­ished in a tie for third.

Although John­son didn’t openly show it Sun­day, he said he was feel­ing the pres­sure from Rahm.

He said his pulse “was pretty good. It got a lit­tle faster than I would have liked start­ing on about 16. But I was able to hang in there.”

‘It was a tough match to­day against Jon. And I re­ally didn’t give him any­thing. … He played tough.’ —Dustin John­son, on Sun­day’s fi­nal match against Jon Rahm

PHO­TOS CON­TRIB­UTED BY STEPHEN SPILLMAN

Dustin John­son his tee shot on the third hole. He led Jon Rahm 5-up af­ter eight holes Sun­day be­fore Rahm closed to within one.

Jon Rahm con­grat­u­lates Dustin John­son at the end of Sun­day’s fi­nal match at Austin Coun­try Club. Rahm al­most over­came a 5-hole deficit.

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