Rahm emerges as newest young TOUR star
January 29, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Jon Rahm grabs first career win in style at FarmersIn the final round of the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open, Jon Rahm's incredible birdie-eagle finish vaulted him into the top spot to earn his first career PGA TOUR win.
SAN DIEGO – Notes and observations from Sunday’s final round of the Farmers Insurance Open, where Jon Rahm was phenomenal on the back nine to claim his first PGA TOUR title. For more from Torrey Pines, check out the Daily Wrap-up.
RAHM-ING IT HOME IN STYLE
At one point it appeared the biggest playoff in PGA TOUR history might be on the cards and then Jon Rahm stepped up and announced himself the newest young star in golf.
As countless contenders jostled for position in the final round – in fact nine different players held at least a share of the lead on Sunday – Rahm emerged with a blitzkrieg finish.
The 22-year-old Spaniard went 6-under on his last eight holes with two eagles and two birdies on the tough South Course at Torrey Pines to annihilate the competition and win by three.
He’s the youngest winner in Farmers Insurance Open history.
His final hole 60’8” putt from the fringe for eagle created a roar local favorite Phil Mickelson would have been proud to evoke – and it took the wind out of his challengers.
It was a champion moment for a champion on the rise.
While plenty of players stressed patience on the iconic coastal municipal course, Rahm preached aggression. And it paid off.
After a birdie try frustratingly lipped out on the 10th hole Rahm put his foot down.
“It really hurt, but that got me pretty aggressive,” he said.
“And my caddie Adam was the one that kept me going on the aggressive mode. He told me on 11 to go right at the pin even though there's not much room. I hit a great shot and made the putt, stayed aggressive. Went for the green on 13, paid off, made that putt (for eagle).”
Rahm was forced to calm himself a little on the 14th tee and played solid through a tough stretch before his astonishing birdie-eagle finish.
Despite the fact he was tied for the lead, he convinced himself he still needed to do more.
“Once I got to 17 and I hit that fairway, I didn't tell anybody but my mindset was we're one shot behind, we're one shot behind,” Rahm said.
“I didn't know, but I'm like I'm one shot behind, I need to make birdie.”
He did that, and some.
The Spanish star has long been an aggressive player. But ties to the Mickelsons have helped it continue.
Phil’s brother Tim recruited and coached the standout amateur at Arizona State. He now serves as his agent.
With the win Rahm now finds himself at 6th in the FedExCup race and on his way to his first Masters.
He returns to the Waste Management Phoenix Open to play in front of the Arizona State faithful for the first time since 2015 when he finished T5 as an amateur.
SAD SUNDAY FOR SNEDS
Defending champion and overnight co-leader Brandt Snedeker could not hide his frustrations after a final round 1-over 73 left him tied for ninth, five shots back of the winner.
The two-time Farmers Insurance champion was a little errant off the tee and on approach, costing him any chance of making a run for a third title.
Seeking to be just the third player to win three or more Farmers Insurance titles with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Snedeker had three Sunday birdies but four bogeys.
“I didn't play very well. To be honest with you, I didn't hit it very good,” he said.
“I did a great job of hanging in there all day and trying to give myself chances. But for whatever reason the putts just didn't want to go. I think I had four lip outs yesterday and at least three today. That's just the way it goes.”
Snedeker’s main self-criticism came with his inability to get on top of the adversity he faced during the round.
He next heads to Pebble Beach in two weeks’ time – a place he has also won at twice - having moved to 69th in the FedExCup rankings.
“I battled hard, but you're going to find if you want to be great at this game or really, really good at this game, you'll find ways to get through adversity and I didn't do a good job of that today,” Snedeker added.
“I have a week off, I'll hit the drawing board, fix what went wrong today. Get ready for Pebble, another place I love a lot.
“I'm disappointed. This is a tournament I know how to win, done it before, so kind of upset with myself that I kind of let the opportunity pass by.”
Phil Mickelson completed his 28th Farmers Insurance Open showing he’s just about back to full strength after two sports hernia surgeries.
Mickelson shot 71-72-68-70 to finish in a tie for 14th, moving him to 61st in the FedExCup standings.
He now plans to continue to play throughout the west coast at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Open
“I am really pleased with the way that I'm swinging the club and I feel really good. This is the best I've swung in a while, and I'm excited about these upcoming events and hopefully I'll put it all together,” Mickelson said.
“This was a good week, a good stepping stone, and hopefully I'll continue to build on that.
“I think by next week I'll be 100 percent would be my guess based on what I'm able to do in the gym. Currently I'm probably 75, 80 percent of where I was before and it's slowly coming back. I'm now six weeks removed, so I should be pretty much 100 percent here fairly quickly.”
CALL OF THE DAY
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Jon Rahm's stunning eagle putt is the Shot of the Day
BEST OF SOCIAL
Jon Rahm's ranks this week ...— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 30, 2017
Low Rd. 4 score: 1st
Rd. 4 putts per GIR: 1st
Rd. 4 proximity: 1st pic.twitter.com/RbYnx3U5Sy