WGC-Dell Match Play: Jon Rahm joins Dustin Johnson with early elimination

JonRahm - cropped
Jon Rahm on day two in Austin (Getty Photographs)

Final yr’s finalist Jon Rahm joined defending champion Dustin Johnson in a gaggle-stage WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play exit after a second defeat.

World No. three and Spanish Rahm was edged out by Johnson within the 2017 decider, however each gamers have endured depressing returns to Austin this week.

An outstanding spherical from Adam Hadwin defeated Johnson four and three and eradicated the world No. 1 earlier than his remaining spherical-robin match with a zero-2 document, earlier than Rahm failed to tug off a late comeback towards Chez Reavie on Thursday.

Rahm was three down by way of 15 and features on the subsequent two holes couldn’t deny Reavie, with the third seed’s participation then ended by Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s dramatic win over Keegan Bradley elsewhere within the group.

Marc Leishman, the eleventh seed, additionally bowed out after dropping three and a couple of to 2-time Masters champion Bubba Watson.

There was higher news for 4-time main winner Rory McIlroy – who claimed final week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational – as he responded to Wednesday’s shock 2 and 1 defeat to Peter Uihlein with victory 24 hours later.

The Northern Irishman and former world No. 1 prevailed by the identical margin towards Jhonattan Vegas and is now simply half some extent again in his group.

Phil Mickelson moved again into rivalry after a shocking turnaround in his match towards Satoshi Kodaira, trailing by 4 by way of seven to recuperate and finish on a roll and 1 up.

Tommy Fleetwood received again on monitor, too, with an enormous 7 and 6 victory over Kevin Chappell, having been crushed on Wednesday by compatriot Ian Poulter, who then made it two wins from two a day later.

Reigning PGA Tour Participant of the Yr Justin Thomas (three and 1 over Patton Kizzire) and Masters champion Sergio Garcia (2 up towards Dylan Frittelli) additionally maintain good data on the shut of play on Thursday, with the pair edging in the direction of the final sixteen.

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed will go head-to-head on Friday after the pair noticed off HaoTong Li and Charl Schwartzel respectively to arrange a gaggle decider.