Jon Rahm is firing out of the gate in 2023 and winning back-to-back starts.
In the final round of 68 on the PGA West’s Stadium Course, Rahm secured victory for American Express, defeating PGA Tour rookie Davis Thompson by one shot. The title follows Rahm’s victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, his first event on the PGA Tour of the calendar year, and his second victory at the Lahe Quinta. The Spaniard won the event (and then the CareerBuilder Challenge) for the first time in 2018.
Rahm’s ball-strikes have been consistent all week, with two 64s on Thursday and Friday followed by a solid 65 to take the lead in the final round on Sunday.
The former US Open champions were miles ahead of their opponents in terms of experience, but the two were close until the end.
“It’s tough, I’m not going to lie,” Rahm said of his 18-hole battle with Thompson. “The turning point was number 16. He missed his tee shot. I knew I could lead, but I just kept hitting the shots I needed.”
On the par-3 17th hole, Thompson’s tee shot looked out of range for a birdie, but his attempt turned out to be painfully close. ball bounced off the pin. His 23-year-old face speaks for itself. That pin may have cost him a playoff chance against Lahm.
“I was a little lucky that Davis’ putt didn’t go in on the 17th and a little lucky that his ball went over the green on the 18th,” Rahm said.
“Honestly, what a great player he is. He’s doing everything right and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins so soon. He gave me a real fight today, And it was a lot of fun. I’m sure there will be many more to come.”
Rahm’s win was his ninth career victory on the PGA Tour, making him the tenth player to win multiple Palm Springs stops on the tour.
The CJ Cup was the last time a player had a winning streak on the PGA Tour, and Rory McIlroy followed up his Tour Championship win with another win.