It can’t be as easy as Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson have made it look this week, but each won handily again on Saturday morning to advance to the afternoon's round of eight in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Mickelson defeated Marc Leishman, 4 and 3, Rahm buried Charles Howell III, 6 and 4, and Johnson routed Zach Johnson, 5 and 4.
A minor concern for Mickelson going forward is that he has yet to play beyond the 15th hole in any of his four matches.
“Certainly I’m a little worried,” he said, “because I know there’s going to be a key match that’s going to go down to the last few holes and I’m not as comfortable on those holes as I’d like to be. But I love the fact that I’m able to be rested and ready to play because I think it’s helping me get off to a good start.”
Johnson has seen the 16th hole only once in his four matches. “I guess I’m putting a lot of pressure on them," he said. "I’m playing pretty solid golf. Just not making any mistakes. I hit one bad shot today, on 11, but Zach didn’t hit a good one, either. We halved the hole there with double [bogeys]. Other than that I played really well. I just need to keep hitting fairways and keep hitting good shots. I’m rolling the putter really well. If I get them on the green I feel I can make them.”
Rahm has won two matches, 6 and 4, and has yet to see the 18th hole in competition.
WGC-Dell Match Play Quarterfinals
Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Alex Noren (8)
Hidito Tanikara (54) vs. Ross Fisher (47)
Soren Kjeldsen (62) vs. Jon Rahm (21)
Bill Haas (42) vs. Phil Mickelson (14)