Brilliant Jon Rahm Secures Maiden PGA Tour Victory at Torrey Pines
Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements
A STAR is born. Jon Rahm holed an outrageous 60-foot putt from just off the back of the final green for an eagle at Torrey Pines that knocked the stuffing out of the opposition and secured him the Farmers Insurance Open, his first PGA Tour title.
The 22-year-old Spaniard burst onto the scene last year with a couple of top-10 finishes in his first two starts on tour, and his potential has been obvious ever since. At the start of the season he made it clear that he wanted to take up membership of the European Tour so that he would be eligible to play for Europe in the Ryder Cup next year. But he said that he was reluctant to do so until he had secured his future in America. He has now done that, in some style, so Thomas Bjorn can look forward to having him in his team in France.
Rahm raced home in 30 shots with the help of another eagle, at the par-five 13th and finished with a spectacular round of 65 that eventually sawhim win by three shots. In the process, he became the youngest player to win the event and the first in 26 years to win his maiden title at Torrey Pines. It will surely be the first of many.
He hit an eight iron to 18 feet at the 13th and holed the putt to take a share of the lead and went ahead on his own with a tap-in birdie at the 17th. And then came that amazing final shot.
Afterwards, he said: "I don't even remember doing it. It is an incredible feeling."
Rahm finished at 13-under 275, three ahead of Charles Howell III (68) and C.T. Pan of Taiwan, who had a 70. Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Rodgers, tied for the lead going into the final round, made too many mistakes on the back nine as they chased the target set by the Spaniard.
All four PGA Tour events to start the new year now have been won by players in their 20s -- Justin Thomas (23) won both event in Hawaii, and Hudson Swafford (29) won last week in the California desert. Rogers is only 24 and his first win is surely just around the corner too
Rahm spent 60 weeks as the No. 1 amateur in the world. Two years ago in the Phoenix Open, he tied for fifth while still at Arizona State. And when he turned pro last summer, he earned his PGA TOUR in four starts, tying for third in the Quicken Loans National at Congressional and finishing runner-up by one shot at the Canadian Open.
“I think he's more than just a good young player," Phil Mickelson said. "I think he's one of the top players in the world. I think there's an intangible that some guys have where they want to have the pressure, they want to be in that tough position, they want to have everything fall on their shoulders. And he has that.”
The victory gets Rahm into The Masters and has moved into the top 50 in the world rankings, which gets him into two World Golf Championships in March.
Howell closed with a 68. It was his third time to finish runner-up at Torrey Pines. He made a long eagle putt on the 13th and finished with a birdie.
In Rahm's Bag at Torrey Pines
- 2017 M2 Driver / 10.5* / Aldila Tour Green TX 75
- 2017 M1 Fairway 15* / Aldila Tour Green TX 75
- 2017 M1 Fairway / 19* / Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8x
- P750 Tour Proto Irons / 5-9, PW / Project X 6.5
- RSi TP UDI #4 / Project X 6.5
- Milled Grind Wedges / 52, 56 & 60 / Project X 6.5
- Spider Tour Red Putter
- TP5x Golf Ball
- Tour Preferred Glove
- Tour New Era 9Fifty Headwear
- adidas Golf apparel & Powerband BOA BOOST footwear
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