Jon Rahm ran countryman Sergio Garcia out of the Dell Technologies Match Play with a 6-and-4 victory Friday in a pairing that put the young bull of Spanish golf against its elder statesman.
He wasted little time responding to a rare challenge.
In the other half of the draw, world No.1 Dustin Johnson overcame spirited resistance from Sweden's Alex Noren to remain on course to become the first player to win all four WGC titles.
"I wasn't frustrated that I was all square. I'm really happy", he said. A six-foot birdie at 13 put Tanihara 5-up and he halved Fisher three holes later to end matters.
The match was set on Monday when the tournament draw put Garcia and Rahm in the same four-player group. He hasn't had a match go longer than 14 holes since Thursday. The 22-year-old has not even played competitively at Augusta National before. "Anything can happen. I'm playing good golf right now". McIlroy won't change his plan to skip the Houston Open just to get in some extra play.
Mickelson was in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004, when he lost to Davis Love III at La Costa.
Mickelson never trailed in any match until he fell behind on the first hole to Haas, and he had never led when the match ended on the 17th hole.
"I didn't get the putts to go this match the way I had been making them previously and that was the difference", he said. "That seemed to me to be the difference".
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.
Hideto Tanihara beat Jordan Spieth in Round 1 and Paul Casey in the Round of 16. He's built like a linebacker and he bullied his way through diminutive Norwegian Soren Kjeldsen in the quarterfinals, rolling to a 7-and-5 victory on the strength of three birdies, an eagle (on the par-5 sixth hole) and a concession through the pair's 13 holes.
Johnson has looked unstoppable all month.
"He does things with the golf ball only a small percentage can do out here".
Only two of the top 10 seeded golfers, Johnson and Noren, advanced to the single elimination round of 16, but if there have been any true surprises here this week, it's been the play of the 62nd-ranked Kjeldsen and No. 54 Tanihara. Noren is the only player to really make him sweat, and that was Johnson's doing. "I'd rather go up to Augusta, play a couple of quiet practice rounds, and then prepare at home and great ready to play". He three-putted from 30 feet to lose the 10th hole.
But he gave hope to amateurs everywhere by completely mishitting his shot and sending it bouncing into the water.