After losing his opening match to Austrian
Bernd Wiesberger on Wednesday, the world number one slumped to a
4&3 defeat by Canadian Adam Hadwin at Austin Country Club.
Spaniard Jon Rahm, the beaten finalist last year, is another
player making an early exit after failing to win for the second
day in a row but Rory McIlroy bounced back from an opening loss
to beat Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela 2&1.
The four times major champion could still win his group but
needs to beat American Brian Harman on Friday.
World number four Jordan Spieth remained perfect with a 4&2 win
over China's Li Haotong.
Johnson never led against Hadwin, who was surprised by his
opponent's lacklustre form.
"I played extremely solid all day," Hadwin told Golf Channel. "I
made the putts from five-to-seven feet when I needed to for par
to keep the momentum on my side.
"I really expected Dustin to play a lot better than he did. I
think everybody did coming in this week. Just a few putts he
missed and here we are," he added.
"I kept putting the pressure on him. He needed to play well in
order to come back."
Hadwin faces Wiesberger on Friday while Johnson plays Kevin
Kisner, who still has a chance of topping the group and being
among the 16 players to advance to the knockout phase.
Rahm, meanwhile, was beaten 1-up by American Chez Reavie, a
result which sealed the Spaniard's fate following his halve with
Keegan Bradley on Wednesday.
Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat (2-0-0) leads the group after beating
Spieth enjoyed his second straight win but is not assured of
winning his group as Patrick Reed is also 2-0-0 after beating
South African Charl Schwartzel 1-up.
Reed won in style when his ball struck the pin with his approach
at the 18th, settling an inch away for a conceded birdie.
Spieth and Reed, team mates on the U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents
Cup squads, meet on Friday to determine who advances.
World number two Justin Thomas also scored a second straight win
on Thursday, beating Patton Kizzire 3&1, and will meet Italian
Francesco Molinari on Friday. The Italian has also won his
opening two games.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed
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