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Johnson holds off Rahm rally


AUSTIN, Tex.—The final day lasted longer than Dustin Johnson wanted.

The outcome was what everyone expected.

Johnson, a golfing machine with no discernible weakness and hardly any pulse, won the Dell Technologies Match Play yesterday for his third-straight victory—this one making him the first person to sweep the four World Golf Championships.

He had to work the hardest for this title.

Johnson was taken to the 18th hole in the semi-final before making an eight-foot putt to beat Hideto Tanihara, then Jon Rahm rallied from 5-down with 10 holes to play until his fearless charge fell short on the final hole.

Johnson tapped in a 30-inch putt for a 1-up victory—completing a dominant week in which he never trailed in the 112 holes he played over seven matches.

“What am I going to say that you guys don't know?" Rahm said. ”If his putter had been hot, I wouldn't have had a chance, no question. . . .

“It's amazing how he's able to keep cool the entire round,” Rahm added.

Johnson now has 15 victories in his career, six of them dating to his first major at the U.S. Open last summer at Oakmont.

Three of them were World Golf Championships at the Bridgestone Invitational, the Mexico Championship, and the Match Play.

He also won the HSBC Champions in Shanghai back in 2013.

Asked to size up his feat, Johnson replied, “Pretty good.”

There's really not much else to say. He led 94 percent of the holes he played at Austin Country Club—a tournament record. He won 46 of those 112 holes.

When asked about his pulse on Saturday, Johnson replied, “It's beating.”

And on Sunday?

“It got a little faster than I would have liked starting on about 16," he smiled. "But I was able to hang in there.”

Johnson was 4-up with six holes to play when Rahm, a bold Spanish rookie with a big game, hit driver over the water and onto the 13th green to win the hole with a birdie.

He stuck a wedge close on the 15th for another birdie. Rahm then hit a shot through the trees on the 16th and won the hole with a 30-foot birdie.

And just like that, he was only 1-down with two holes to play.

But Rahm's comeback fell short. Playing the 356-yard 18th hole for the first time in competition all week, and needing a birdie to send this heavyweight bout to overtime, Rahm smashed driver over the back of the green.

His chip down the slope then checked up and stayed short of the ridge—leaving him a downhill putt that broke so sharply that he aimed nearly at a 90-degree angle away from the hole.

He did well to make par.

Johnson came up just short of the green, chipped close, and rolled in it to complete another big week.

“That was a tough day, a long day,” Johnson admitted.

“I'm proud of the way I played, the way I hung in there.”

Bill Haas won the consolation match against Tanihara, 3 and 2, in which Tanihara made a hole-in-one on the seventh hole.

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