John­son, Rahm roar into match play semi­fi­nals

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

austin, texas» Dustin John­son had rea­son to be rat­tled.

As he walked off the 12th green Satur­day af­ter­noon, the match ref­eree said five words that John­son heard for the first time all week in the Dell Tech­nolo­gies Match Play. “The match is all square.” Un­til then, John­son had led af­ter each of the 71 holes he had played at Austin Coun­try Club.

He wasted lit­tle time re­spond­ing to a rare chal­lenge. John­son birdied three of the next four holes for a 3-and-2 vic­tory over Alex Noren to ad­vance to the semi­fi­nals and stay on track for a po­ten­tial show­down be­tween No. 1 in the world and Jon Rahm, golf ’s bright­est young star.

“I wasn’t frus­trated that I was all square. I was frus­trated that I kind of gave 10 and 11 away,” John­son said. “Came back strong af­ter los­ing three holes in a row.”

Rahm was so dom­i­nant he played only 27 holes in two matches Satur­day. He hasn’t had a match go longer than 14 holes since Thurs­day. And the 22-yearold rookie from Spain still hasn’t played the 18th hole since a prac­tice round Tues­day.

Rahm lost only one of the 27 holes he played in his 6and-4 vic­tory over Charles How­ell III and his 7-and-5 vic­tory over Soren Kjeld­sen in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Rahm faces a semi­fi­nal match Sun­day morn­ing against Bill Haas, who ended Phil Mick­el­son’s hopes with a 2-and-1 vic­tory.

John­son, go­ing af­ter a third straight PGA Tour ti­tle, faces one of this tour­na­ment’s big­gest sur­prises in Hideko Tani­hara of Ja­pan. rio grande, puerto rico» Chris Stroud birdied his fi­nal hole to cap off a 5un­der 67 and take a oneshot lead in the Puerto Rico Open as he goes for his first PGA Tour vic­tory.

One shot be­hind was a pair of past PGA Tour win­ners, Bill Lunde and D.A. Points, who each shot 69.

Stroud was at 15-un­der 201. Ten play­ers were within three shots of the lead. carls­bad, calif.» Mirim Lee shot a 5-un­der 67 in the third round of the Kia Clas­sic to go to 13-un­der and take a one-shot lead over Mi Jung Hur, who made a 67foot putt on No. 18 to card a 66. In Gee Chun was tied at 10-un­der with Cristie Kerr. Re­sults

Dustin John­son hits from the rough on the fifth hole in Austin, Texas, on Satur­day. Eric Gay, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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