AUSTIN, TEXAS – Here’s your WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play final four:
- Dustin Johnson: No surprise here considering he’s the No. 1 player in the world, has won his last two starts and is the most intimidating player in the game at the moment.
- Hideko Tanihara: He’s not a household name here in the States but that doesn’t mean his presence on Sunday at Austin Country Club is a fluke. Tanihara means business and he’ll have to be at his best to get past DJ in their semifinal match.
- Bill Haas: He bumped off Phil Mickelson Saturday afternoon to achieve his goal of reaching the semifinals for the first time. Riding the good vibes of a swing tip from his dad earlier in the week.
- Jon Rahm: He is the game’s newest star and here’s what Haas said about his semifinal opponent: “I don’t think a single player out here would argue that he’s not one of the top five, top 10 players in the world.”
Based purely on how they’ve stormed through their first five matches, Johnson and Rahm figure to wind up facing each other in the finals but match play has a way of creating wrinkles into expectations.
“Anything can happen,” Johnson said.
How dominant have Johnson and Rahm been to this point?
Johnson has won the first hole in all five of his matches and until Alex Noren won three holes in a row to start the back nine to briefly square their quarterfinal match, Johnson had led every hole of every match after the first hole.
As soon as Noren pulled even, Johnson birdied three of the next four holes to end the match, making it look as easy as changing television stations.
Does his heart rate ever jump?
“Sometimes it gets going pretty good. It just all depends if I’m walking up a steep hill or something,” Johnson said.
Then there’s Rahm who thumped Charles Howell III 6&4 before whacking Soren Kjeldsen 7&5. Rahm has not trailed at any point in any match either.
“The golf I’ve played the last three matches really has been very impressive, even to myself,” Rahm said. “And it seemed to get better as I played which doesn’t happen often.”