After turning pro just last year, 22 year-old Jon Rahm from Spain got his first win on the PGA Tour in an unforgettable way, at an unforgettable place last Sunday.
The Arizona State graduate finally lived up to sky-high amateur expectations when he eclipsed the field at Torrey Pines with a stellar seven-under 65 in the final round.
Rahm had two eagles and two birdies on the back nine on Sunday, including a beautiful 60-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole of the tournament. Rahm won by three shots, but his final stroke on the last hole put a huge exclamation point on his masterful performance this last weekend.
Rahm had been knocking on the door for some time before the victory, and is expected to have a big future on tour. Rahm is the only recipient of two Ben Hogan awards (awarded to the best college golfer that year) and was the number one ranked amateur in the world for 60 weeks while attending Arizona State.
Before his win at Torrey, Rahm was the low amateur at the 2016 U.S. Open, finished third at the Quicken Loans National, and was second at the RBC Canadian open last July. With a win under his belt, more success is expected.
As a collegiate golfer, Rahm had no problem coming up big under pressure, as he won 11 tournaments as a Sun Devil. But as any professional golfer will tell you, winning on the PGA Tour is a whole lot harder than getting a college W.
Breaking through against other professionals is a big sign for Rahm, who needed a win to get his career on the tour rolling. Hype has mounted around Rahm for quite some time, and now that he’s got a win under his belt, a Jordan Spieth-like run would not surprise the golf world.
A few major titles to Rahm’s name certainly wouldn’t surprise all-time great Phil Mickelson, who thinks Rahm is “one of the best players in the world,” right now.
Rahm is yet another young star on tour that is making his name known, and ushering in a new era of talent for golf. The game of golf seems to be looking up this year, with so many likable players that all have legitimate chances at major titles and dominance.
The likes of Justin Thomas, Smylie Kaufman, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rahm give hope for countless exciting Sunday battles down the road.
Until then, Jon Rahm can keep replaying that sweet 60 foot putt in his head over and over again.