2017 runner-up Jon Rahm commits to Dell Technologies Match Play
AUSTIN, Texas – After falling one hole short of defeating defending champion Dustin Johnson in the final match a year ago, Jon Rahm has committed to make his return to the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club March 21-25. With Rahm’s commitment announced, the top four players in the Official World Golf Rankings – Dustin Johnson (1), Justin Thomas (2), Rahm (3) and Jordan Spieth (4) – have all committed for the unique match-play format.
“We’re excited to once again welcome Jon Rahm to Austin,” said Jordan Uppleger, executive director of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. “The thrilling finale between him and Dustin Johnson last year is exactly the type of dramatic, head-to-head matchups we’ve seen repeatedly at Austin Country Club over the last two years. With the top four in the world all committed for this year’s event, fans can expect to see more of the same when the best in the world compete here in less than two weeks.”
In a back-and-forth championship match a year ago, Rahm was 5-down after eight holes and 4-down with six holes to play to Johnson. But the young Spaniard began to claw his way back into the match on the risk-reward par-4 13th with a bold play, hitting driver over the water onto the green to win the hole. He followed with birdies at the 15th and 16th holes to cut his deficit to just 1-down with two holes to play. After taking his driver over the green on the 356-yard par-4 18th, Rahm failed to get up and down and Johnson tapped in for par to secure the 1-up victory.
With the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play less than two weeks away, this is the last week for players to guarantee qualification. Following the conclusion of this week’s Valspar Championship, the top 64 in the Official World Golf Rankings will all be guaranteed a spot in the only head-to-head, match-play event on the PGA TOUR schedule.
As it stands today, the current top 64 in the world rankings includes 34 international players from 17 different countries.
Johnson, a 17-time PGA TOUR winner, will be back to defend his title as well. The World No. 1 is looking to join Tiger Woods, Geoff Ogilvy and Jason Day as the only multiple winners of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Woods, a three-time winner of the event, is the only player in the history of the event to repeat with back-to-back victories in 2003 and 2004.
Current FedExCup leader and reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas has also committed to return to Austin.
Three former Texas Longhorns – Spieth (4), Dylan Frittelli (No. 44), and Jhonattan Vegas (No. 50) -- are currently qualified for the event that is a home game of sorts. Frittelli, who was teammates with Spieth at Texas, won the 2012 NCAA Championship for Texas with a 30-footer clinching putt on the last hole.
The 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the third of four World Golf Championships events during the 2017-18 season, has a limited number of tickets remaining. Tickets can be purchased at DellTechnologiesMatchPlay.com or by calling 844-868-7465. Tickets available include weekly grounds badges that grant access to the Austin Country Club grounds and all public venues, fan activations and bleachers.
Additionally, ULTRA Club badges are available. The ULTRA Club, which is located on the 12th fairway, offers an enhanced venue to follow the action, with several televisions located throughout and open seating for guests to sit and mingle in a relaxed sports bar setting.
Those who purchased tickets are reminded that youth 18 and under will be admitted free all week when accompanied by a ticketed adult (one free youth ticket per each adult ticket will be available). This free ticket only applies for grounds tickets and not upgraded hospitality options.
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is one of the most elite and exciting tournaments on golf’s calendar as one in a series of four World Golf Championships events sanctioned and organized by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play field annually consists of the very best players from around the world from all Tours and traditionally features nearly all of the top 64 in the world.
Since its inception, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play has generated more than $17 million for charity with the tournament announcing in early October that the 2017 edition raised over $1.1 million for five Austin-based charities.