Johnson, Rahm roar into match play semifinals
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