2017 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Quarterfinal Notes

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Bill Haas

Quarterfinal Notes – Saturday, March 25, 2017

 

Weather

Saturday: Sunny skies with a high of 82. NW wind at 8-15 mph.

 

Format

Following the group format, the Round of 16 becomes single elimination, followed by the Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon. The Semifinals will be Sunday morning, followed by the Championship Match and Consolation Match on Sunday afternoon.

 

Starting with the quarterfinals, matches requiring extra holes will begin on the 12th hole for the remainder of the event.

 

The following players reached the semifinals –

Seed      Player                             vs.                Seed      Player                                  Tee Times

21           Jon Rahm (ESP)             vs.                42           Bill Haas (USA)                    9:00 a.m.

1             Dustin Johnson (USA)   vs.                54           Hideto Tanihara (JPN)        9:12 a.m.

 

First timers

Of the nine players making their Dell Technologies Match Play debut, Hideto Tanihara (Japan) and Jon Rahm (Spain), advanced to the semifinals. Geoff Ogilvy is the only player to win this event in his first appearance, in 2006.

 

Global field

Of the 20 countries represented by the field, three countries are represented in the semifinals:

  • USA – Haas and Johnson
  • Japan – Tanihara
  • Spain – Rahm

 

Hideto Tanihara joins Toru Taniguchi as the only players from Asia to reach the semifinals in the history of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. In 2001, Taniguchi defeated fellow Japanese player Shigeki Maruyama in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals where he lost to Steve Stricker (2 and 1). Taniguchi went on to win the Consolation Match for third place with a 4 and 3 win over Ernie Els.

 

Match 105 – Bill Haas defeated Phil Mickelson, 2 and 1

Behind the strength of seven birdies in 17 holes, Bill Haas defeated Phil Mickelson 2 and 1 to move into the semifinals at the Dell Technologies Match Play.

 

Haas’ path to the semifinals

RD. 1 – Russell Knox defeated Haas, 3 and 2

RD. 2 – Haas defeated Danny Willett, 6 and 5

RD. 3 –  Haas def. K.T. Kim, 4 and 2

*Haas defeated K.T. Kim on the 6th playoff hole to advance

RD. of 16 – Haas defeated Kevin Na, 1-up

QF – Haas def. Phil Mickelson, 2 and 1

 

Haas was nearly eliminated from the event by K.T. Kim during the second playoff hole to advance from the group stage. After hitting his approach into the hazard, Haas holed a pitch from 40 yards to par the hole to continue the playoff which he would eventually win on the 6th extra hole.

 

Haas, the 2011 FedExCup champion, made the winning putt for the U.S. Presidents Cup team in the 2015 event in Korea with his father, Jay, serving as captain. He is currently No. 20 in the U.S. standings for this year’s event.

 

Haas has yet to miss a cut in eight previous events this season with 6 top-20 finishes.

 

Match 106 – Jon Rahm defeated Soren Kjeldsen, 7 and 5

Spain’s Jon Rahm followed his morning 5-under in 14 holes by shooting 6-under in 13 holes to dispatch Soren Kjeldsen, 7 and 5. Rahm moves into the semifinals in his maiden attempt at the Dell Technologies Match Play.

 

At 22 years, 4 months and 17 days, Rahm would be the youngest winner in the history of the World Golf Championships, besting Patrick Reed, who won the Mexico Championship at 23 years, 7 months and 4 days. Rory McIlroy is the youngest winner in tournament history having won in 2015 at 25 years, 11 months and 25 days.

 

Rahm’s path to the semifinals

RD. 1 – Rahm defeated Kevin Chappell, 3 and 2

RD. 2 – Rahm defeated Shane Lowry, 2 and 1

RD. 3 – Rahm defeated Sergio Garcia, 6 and 4

RD. of 16 – Rahm defeated Charles Howell III, 6 and 4

QF. – Rahm defeated Soren Kjeldsen, 7 and 5

 

This is Rahm’s second appearance in a World Golf Championships event, having finished T3 at the Mexico Championship earlier this month.  Rahm claimed his first win on TOUR in just his 17th start when he won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year.

 

Rahm’s 7 and 5 victory over Kjeldsen matches the largest winning margin this week. Daniel Berger also won 7 and 5, over J.B. Holmes in the opening round.

 

107 – Hideto Tanihara defeated Ross Fisher, 4 and 2

Japan’s Hideto Tanihara bogeyed the opening hole to go 1 down against England’s Ross Fisher before winning the next two holes with par, birdie. With four additional birdies and no errors through to the 13th hole, Tanihara jumped out to a 5-up lead with five to play. The 14th was halved in pars before Fisher mounted a late challenge, stiffing his approach at 15 for a tap-in birdie to get back to 3 up. Fisher conceded the 16th hole for the match to finish 4 and 2 in favor of Tanihara.

 

Tanihara’s path to the semifinals

RD. 1 — Tanihara defeated Jordan Spieth 4 and 2

RD. 2 –  Tanihara halved with Ryan Moore, halved

RD. 3 –  Tanihara defeated Yuta Ikeda, 3 and 1

RD. of 16 – Tanihara defeated Paul Casey, 2 and 1

QF – Tanihara defeated Ross Fisher, 4 and 2

 

Tanihara joins Jon Rahm as first-timers who advanced to the semifinals at the Dell Technologies Match Play this year.

 

Tanihara is seeking his first PGA TOUR win in his 44th start. Four players earned their first PGA TOUR title at the Dell Technologies Match Play (Darren Clarke/ 2000, Kevin Sutherland/ 2002, Henrik Stenson/2007 and Ian Poulter/2010).

 

Tanihara will earn his best PGA TOUR finish this week. He owns two top-10 finishes in 43 previous career starts on TOUR – a T5 at The Open in 2006 and a T8 at the 2014 Sony Open in Hawaii.

 

Tanihara is ranked 13th in the International Team Presidents Cup standings as he looks to make the team for the first time in his career. Tanihara is projected to move inside the top five with a win in the final and inside the top nine with a runner-up finish.

 

The 38-year-old has 13 international victories and is looking to join his countryman Hideki Matsuyama as the only player from Asia to win a World Golf Championships event. Matsuyama won the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions last November.

 

In round one, Tanihara, who has won three times on the Japan Golf Tour in the last year, defeated Austin favorite Jordan Spieth, 4 and 2.

 

Tanihara began this week No. 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking. By advancing to the semifinals this week, Tanihara is projected to move comfortably inside the top-50 and earn a spot in the Masters Tournament in two weeks.

 

England’s Ross Fisher will likely move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking with his T5 finish.

 

Match 108 – Dustin Johnson defeated Alex Noren, 3 and 2

Sweden’s Alex Noren pulled all square with Dustin Johnson on the 12th hole with a birdie marking the first time that Johnson has finished a hole at all square for the entire tournament. But Johnson responded with birdies on holes 13, 15 and 16 to close out the match, 3 and 2. With the win, Johnson moves into the semifinals for the first time at the Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in his ninth appearance. After going back to all square, Johnson hit his approach to 9-feet with Noren hitting his closer. Johnson rolled in the 9-footer while Noren’s lipped out setting the stage for the final holes.

 

Johnson’s path to the semifinals

RD. 1 — Johnson defeated Webb Simpson, 5 and 3

RD. 2 – Johnson defeated Martin Kaymer, 3 and 2

RD. 3 – Johnson defeated Jimmy Walker, 5 and 3

RD. of 16 – Johnson defeated Zach Johnson, 5 and 4

QF – Johnson defeated Alex Noren, 3 and 2

 

Johnson’s string of never finishing a hole without at least a 1-up lead ended after 71 holes.

 

Johnson, who started his Dell Technologies Match Play career just 2-6 between 2009-2014, is 10-3 since that time including a 5-0 record this week.

 

Johnson, who won the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship for the second time in his career earlier this month, is seeking to become the first player to win each of the four World Golf Championships events, with the Dell Technologies Match Play title the only one missing from his resume. Johnson’s WGC victories came at the HSBC Champions (2013), the Mexico Championship (2015), the Bridgestone Invitational (2016) and the Mexico Championship (2017).

 

Johnson and Tiger Woods (18) are the only players with four or more World Golf Championships victories. Although Woods has 18 victories, he failed to collect the HSBC Champions trophy, where he finished T6 in 2009 and 2010 in his only two appearances.

 

With a victory, Johnson would move to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings with 1,903 points.

 

With a win at this year’s event, Johnson would join Rory McIlroy (2015) and Tiger Woods as the third player to win the Dell Technologies Match Play as a No. 1 seed. Woods won the tournament three times (2008, 2004 and 2003) as the No. 1 seed.

Johnson (2), Justin Thomas (3) and Hideki Matsuyama (2) are multiple winners on the PGA TOUR this season.

 

Johnson (14/2008-present) has at least one win in each of his first ten seasons on the PGA TOUR (the best current streak) and joins Arnold Palmer (17/1955-1971), Jack Nicklaus (17/1962-1978) and Tiger Woods (14/1996-2009) as the only players since 1960 to achieve this feat.

 

Last season, Johnson claimed the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as PGA TOUR Player of the Year. He also took home the Byron Nelson Award for Adjusted Scoring Average (69.172) and the Arnold Palmer Award as the TOUR’s leading money-winner ($9,365,185) and also finished No. 2 in the FedExCup standings.

 

Johnson has a 4-3-0 overall record in two Ryder Cup appearances but has won both singles matches. In two Presidents Cup appearances, his record is 4-4-1 with one singles victory. Johnson is No. 1 in the current standings for the 2017 Presidents Cup U.S. Team with 7,027 points.

 

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