Dustin Johnson became the first player to complete the WGC career slam, winning the Dell Technologies Match Play for the first time, after a thrilling final against Jon Rahm.
Rahm fought back valiantly, after he made a number of errors early on to send Johnson into a commanding early lead.
‘Pretty awesome,’ said Johnson after his dominant week, in which he played 112 holes and never trailed after any of them.
‘Definitely kind of cool to be the first one to win all four. These are the biggest events besides the majors, with the best golfers in the world.’
Johnson, who already had the second most WGC wins, is the first to win all four WGC events. Tiger Woods won 18 events, but never the HSBC. Johnson now has five, as well as top spot in the FedExCup standings.
‘I feel like there will be some more to do it,’ Johnson said of the slam. ‘But I’m very, very pleased with it.’
Johnson was 5 up through eight holes in the final and looked to be on cruise control, while Rahm had, in his terms, reached a ‘very steep and deep low.’
But Rahm won the next two holes thanks to Johnson bogeys. After DJ won the par-5 12th with a birdie, Rahm won three of the next four holes with birdies.
That forced Johnson to hang on down the stretch, pushing him to an 18th hole that didn’t appear likely two hours earlier.
Johnson denied that he let his foot off the gas.
‘I felt like I was still attacking the golf course,’ he said. ‘You’ve got to make putts. And I felt like, especially this afternoon, it was really difficult, the wind was blowing, the greens got fast. So it was really tough to make putts.’
Rahm, meanwhile, said his tee shot on the par-4 ninth – 374 yards that set up a conventional par – helped calm him down.
‘Once I collected myself after that tee shot on 9, things went a little easier,’ Rahm said. ‘I was just waiting for Dustin to make a couple of mistakes.
‘Luckily for me, he did, which he doesn’t usually do, and I was able to take advantage of that. And my confidence and my emotions came back to normal.’
Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
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