Jon Rahm wins again at Genesis Invitational for fifth victory from past nine starts

By Sports Desk February 19, 2023

Jon Rahm remains the hottest player in golf after securing the Genesis Invitational title on Sunday with a final score of 17 under.

The win was his fifth from his past nine worldwide starts, and his third PGA Tour title of 2023 after going back-to-back at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and The American Express in January. He also won the Spanish Open in October, and the DP World Tour Championship in November.

He led by three strokes coming into his final round at Riviera Country Club, and he remained with a multi-stroke lead after posting a two-under front nine. But things went haywire on the home stretch, with bogeys on 10 and 12 briefly handing Max Homa a one-stroke lead.

Homa would bogey the 13th, tying things up at 15 under, before Rahm pulled away again with a 45-foot birdie putt on 14, and a tap-in birdie after a picture-perfect tee shot on the par-three 16th.

Homa ended up two strokes behind Rahm at 15 under, giving him his fourth top-three finish from eight PGA Tour starts this season, including two wins.

Patrick Cantlay finished one further back at 14 under, Will Zalatoris rode the best score of the day – a seven-under 64 – up into outright fourth place at 13 under, and Keith Mitchell rounded out the top five at 12 under.

Speaking to CBS after stepping off the final green, Rahm was asked to explain the joy of his 10th PGA Tour win, having surpassed the total of his childhood hero Seve Ballesteros (nine).

"I could explain exhaustion right now," he said. "Because that was a tough week, and a tough Sunday.

"Max battled out there, and Patrick kind of gave us a scare, but I'm just glad I could come through at the end.

"Beating Seve – I know he didn't play full-time PGA tour, and I know five of those wins are majors – but still, to reach that milestone of double-digit wins is pretty incredible.

"To do it at a golf course with this legacy, this history, and hosted by the man himself Tiger Woods – it's a true honour, I can't really explain it."

Woods carded a two-over 73 on Sunday to finish equal 45th at one-under overall.

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    Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler are also among the prominent players chasing Schauffele, as they sit on four under after Thursday's action.

    It was a more difficult day for Jon Rahm, who shot a one-under 70, but he would have gladly taken that score when he had bogeyed four of his first six holes, while Tiger Woods is at +1 after a 72.

    McIlroy's last major win came in 2014 at this tournament and venue. He came into the event in form after two straight wins and remains in contention despite not playing at his peak.

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    "I sort of felt like it was pretty scrappy for the most part. I don't really feel like I left many out there and I thought I got a lot out of my game.

    "Had some good up-and-downs, the chip-in on six. I had a little bit of a scrappy part around the turn there, but not really happy with how I played but I am at least happy with the score."

    Masters champion Scheffler will focus on his own game instead of focusing too much on Schauffele's stunning exploits.

    "Yeah, I mean, there's nothing I can do," Scheffler said. "Xander went out and played a great round in the morning, and I'm not really going to worry about trying to shoot 9-under. I'm just going to go out and try to hit good shots and play my own game.

    "I'd like to clean up a few of the mistakes. I missed two putts I felt like I should have holed, but that's going to happen when the greens get a little chewed up. A couple things I can clean up going into Friday, but overall it was a solid round."

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    "It is a big-boy golf course. It has gotten longer or maybe I have just got shorter!"

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    "It's a great start," said the world number three, who has not won a trophy since the 2022 Scottish Open.

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    Rory McIlroy came in at five under, having carded a fine 66, while Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala went round in 65, while reigning champion Brooks Koepka managed an admirable four under.

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