Published: Mon, March 27, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

Jon Rahm demolishes Soren Kjeldsen to reach WGC Match Play semi-final

Jon Rahm demolishes Soren Kjeldsen to reach WGC Match Play semi-final

The four-time major champion from Northern Ireland lost his opening round at the Dell Technologies Match Play, then lost any chance of advancing when Gary Woodland withdrew from the group a day later for what was described as a personal family matter.

In Sunday's semifinal match between Spain's Jon Rahm and Bill Haas, Rahm hammered his tee shot a blistering 426 yards. The 22-year-old sunk an impressive 60-foot putt from the back fringe of the par 5 18th hole to win the Open by three shots, with a score of 5-under.

"The injury hasn't been ideal to start the year, but I've played Houston before and I never felt like it did anything for me", McIlroy said.

Johnson, who has won his past two tour events, had to play past the 15th hole for the first time this week but eventually closed out No. 8 Alex Noren of Sweden 3 and 2 with a birdie on the par-5 16th.

We've all been there, lining up the ideal tee shot, practice swing looking good, visualising the ball landing in the middle of the fairway...only to see the ball veer off into the water or the bushes or roll two feet away from the tee.

So, with this victory over Garcia, can John Rahm now be talked about in the same way people talk about Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, and Sergio Garcia? Garcia's driver slipped in his hands and the ball snap hooked into the tall grass to his left, barely making it a few feet off the ground.

Rahm was just 4 years old when Garcia turned professional in 1999 and earned the nickname "El Nino" with his boyish grin and his joyous runs up the fairway to watch big shots.

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"My expectations are usually really high", Rahm said.

The 22-year-old, who was the world's top ranked amateur while studying at Arizona State University, is now 25th in the world after winning his first PGA Tour title in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January. I don't consider myself being a player like that.

"He does things with the golf ball only a small percentage can do out here".

The participants in the quarterfinals were determined by play in the Round of 16 earlier in the day.

Rahm said the match play tournament format suits him well as he pursues his second victory.

The US Open champion won three of the last four holes of the front nine against Zach Johnson to take a four-hole lead at the turn, and he even escaped with a half in fives at the short 11th when he found water off the tee, only for his opponent to follow him into the drink.

"I feel like all of us Spaniards really play good at match play because of our aggressive mindset", he said.

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