Farmers notes: Jon Rahm surges back into contention
Published in Golf
SAN DIEGO — Jon Rahm bagged his first tour victory at Torrey Pines. He won a major here. Including the 2021 U.S. Open, Rahm’s treks up and down the North and South courses accounts for $5.25 million of his $39.6 million career earnings.
In other words, the 28-year-old Spaniard understood he had a windblown North Course right where he wanted it as he lined up his tee shot on the par-5 No. 5. At the time, he was on the wrong side of the projected cut line.
“I knew that’s probably on any given day the most scorable part of the golf course,” Rahm said after his back-nine surge on Thursday carried him to within eight shots of the lead. “Holes 5 through 9, with or without wind, is where you can take advantage of the course.”
Did he ever.
Even through his first 13 holes, Rahm shaved five strokes off his score beginning with an eagle on 5 that moved him from tied for 79th and perhaps a short stay in San Diego to firmly in the weekend field. He followed with three straight birdies before scrambling to save par on his final hole (No. 9) as his 5-under 67 moved him into a tie for 14th and more than made up for the 1-over he turned in on the South a day earlier.
“The goal is to win,” said Rahm, who hasn’t missed a cut since September 2021 and owns the longest active cut streak at 22. “(The cut line) would have come into mind maybe in the last few holes had I been even par. Like I said, I knew going into 5 through 9 to take care of the par 5s, take care of the short par-4 7, everything would be all right.
“I was playing with the mindset of catching up to the leaders as much as possible.”
Torrey Pines isn’t the only reason for Rahm’s confidence.
He arrived this week the winner of his first two starts this calendar year — the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s American Express in the desert — and looking to join Dustin Johnson (2018), Rory McIlroy (2014) and Tiger Woods (2008) as the only golfers in the last 15 years to win three straight starts.
A birdie-birdie start moved Rahm under par for the tournament, but he gave a stroke back with a bogey on the par-3 12th and another on the par-4 18th.
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