Rahm gets stuck in Torrey Pines: no hat-trick and no number one

Torrey Pines is capable of humanizing even Jon Rahm. The very tough course of San Diego (California, USA) has been the particular garden of the Basque, who there achieved his first victory on the PGA Tour (2017) and his first major (US Open 2021). Everything seemed scripted so that Rahmbo, after his assault on second place in round three, achieved his third consecutive victory last night and, in addition, regained the lead in the world ranking. However, that same route that Barrika’s has managed to tame so many times was very cruel to him yesterday. The final victory went to the Californian Max Homa (-13), fourth in his home state, while Jon had to settle for seventh (-8).

Third week of competition for Rahm in 2023, and the third time in which he started with a chance to win. After his victories in the Tournament of Champions y en The American Express, the Spanish golfer got back into the fight for a new title after an exquisite third round. In an atypical scenario, with the final day taking place on a Saturday so as not to overlap with the nfl playoffs, Rahmbo suffered from the first moment. He started in second position, just two strokes behind a Sam Ryder who was aspiring to his first championship on the North American circuit. After the first hole, the distance had increased to four shots due to a bogey from Jon and a birdie from Ryder. It took more than necessary for the Spaniard to get into rhythmbeing very unfortunate with the putt (and unlucky in those who shot well).

Most of the chances of victory were gone on the 5th hole. After going to the tee bunker, Jon missed the green, and it took him three shots to get the ball out of the dense rough of Torrey Pines. Double bogey and free fall in a classification in which candidates were adding: Hideki Matsuyama, Keegan Bradley, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa appeared… Rahm was moving away from the head, and he needed again a miracle like the one he worked in the Tournament of Champions. But this time it was not like that. Ryder was just not making mistakes, while Jon continued to be unhinged. He wasn’t even encouraged by the birdie at 6, quickly erased with a bogey at 7. The Spaniard was completely stuck on his fetish course, and the numerous errors he had with the driver to the left were notable. He minimally fixed his card in the final stretch, already out of the fight for victory, to finish the last day in 74 shots, two over par (his worst round in the edition), for a total of -8.

Ryder, for his part, began to feel the pressure of a possible first victory on the PGA Tour and fell apart in the second half of the round. When he faced the 9th hole, Max Homa had already hunted him down after a sensational start by the Californian, who lifted five shots from behind. Homa, who since the start of 2021 has won five titles on the North American circuit (a figure equaled only by Rory McIlroy), he kept his cool throughout, while Ryder fell apart on the 15th hole, where he committed a double bogey that buried his options. Homa’s victory (-13 and a final day of six under par) marks the sixth in the career of the 32-year-old golfer, who has exploded in recent seasons. He has an idyll with California, similar to that of Jon Rahm, and that is that four of his six victories have been in the state where he was born. The Farmers Insurance Open is the second title this season for the American (he won the Fortinet Championship), who is second in the FedExCup, just 17 points behind Jon Rahm.

Rahmbo’s final push was not enough to achieve the second big goal he had this weekend: regain the world number one. The ‘León de Barrika’ needed to finish in the top three of the event, but the final -8 only earned him seventh, so Rory McIlroy will retain his OWGR lead. Despite coming up short on the final day, Jon maintains his great record at Torrey Pines (seven top-7s or better in eight starts) and in any competition in recent months: he accumulates eight consecutive top-10s, with four victories between them. This time, Rahmbo did not bite metal in his private garden, but he showed again that he has a lot to say in 2023.



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