Rahm beats Garcia, leads Euro charge at WGC Match Play
EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS
Five European players remain in with a chance of scooping the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play title after the last 16 was decided at the Austin Country Club on Friday.
Spanish sensation John Rahm was one of the first players to join Søren Kjeldsen and Alex Noren in the knock-out stages after the Dane and the Swede had secured their places on Thursday.
Rahm has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the professional game over the last seven months and he further enhanced his growing reputation as one of the best in the business by taking down his friend and compatriot Sergio Garcia 6&4 to progress.
Rahm will face Charles Howell III in the last 16, while Kjeldsen takes on William McGirt and Noren faces an in-form Brooks Koepka.
The English duo of Ross Fisher and Paul Casey are the other two European representatives in the field, with Fisher on the verge of securing a place in the Masters in just two weeks after his group play-off victory over Louis Oosthuizen saw him set up a last 16 match against Bubba Watson. Fisher had earlier beaten US Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk to set up his play-off with Oosthizen.
Casey will have to get past the Japanese Hideto Tanihara in the last 16 having defeated Charl Schwartzel on Friday to win his group.
Jon Rahm: “I'd rather not play a fellow Spaniard. Obviously, representing Spain, we want as many Spaniards to make it as far as possible. But worse came to worse, and luckily whoever won today was going to make it through. Out of that, at least we are happy that was going to happen. “Several reasons why you're looking forward to play a countryman. We're friends and we know it was going to be a great battle. We knew we were going to have fun. And just the emotion, sentiment of being friends and being out here in the World Golf Championship, it really is something that wanted us to beat each other a little more, made it a little more special.
“I watched Sergio play growing up, as much as I could. My first memories of watching golf is in '04, '05, and it really is -- Sergio's career was really good. Obviously I've seen what he's done before that, I've seen all the videos possible on the Internet and I've been following his career forever. He's a great role model of mine. And it was really, let's say, emotional win for me just because I've seen him -- he's been such a great idol and role model for me to follow.”
Ross Fisher: “I’m really proud. I knew it was going to be a tough game against Jim as he is a gritty competitor. I have played him a couple of times in match play and had managed to get the better of him before. I just wanted to come out and play solid. And managed to close it out on 16, then I'm told you are in a play-off with Louis.
“I didn't have much time to think about it. It was literally in the car, back to the clubhouse, probably half a dozen chips in the chipping green and then straight to the first tee. Gave myself a good look on one and then obviously have another look on two and I wanted to make that putt because I didn't want to go any further. To see it drop in to advance to tomorrow is obviously very, very satisfying.”
Full results and draw available here: Rd3_GroupPlayBrackets.pdf
Labels: PRO GOLF