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John Rahm has played himself into contention on day three at the Farmers Insurance Open in California. A score of six-under-par for the Spaniard has moved him to just within two shots of the leader, Sam Ryder, who could only manage an even-par round of 72 at Torrey Pines on Friday.
The tournament is played across the two courses at Torrey Pines, with Rahm enjoying good rounds across both sites on days two and three to battle back from being 116th in the leaderboard after a poor opening day.
A 67 on the North Course on Thursday gave him a glimmer of hope but the 66 yesterday has arguably made him favourite to lift his third PGA title of the month. After winning the Tournament of Champions at the start of the month, Rahm went on to win The American Express last week.
If the Spaniard wins the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday it will be the first time a player has won three events in a row on the PGA Tour since Dustin Johnson achieved the feat in 2017. Victory would also mean a return to the coveted world number-one spot for the former US Open champion.
Rahm produces the goods when it matters
Despite shooting 66, it wasn’t a round of beautiful golf throughout from Rahm on day three. In fact, after the opening five holes, he found himself eight strokes off the lead and was struggling to make a dent into Sam Ryder’s lead.
Rahm thrives off momentum, though, and his putter seemed to get hot toward the end of the front nine. Three consecutive birdies on six, seven, and eight were followed by a superb eagle put from 12 feet on the ninth and from seemingly nowhere, the world number three was breathing down Ryder’s neck.
Golf shot from Rahm on 9. Eagle takes him to -9 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/wAyuUiJoAu
— Callaway Golf (@CallawayGolf) January 27, 2023
He kept his cool on the back nine and carded eight pars and one birdie to put himself within striking distance. He was undoubtedly helped by an average round from Ryder, though. The American could have given himself a more comfortable lead going into the final day but couldn’t capitalise on any of the par 5s.
After his round, Ryder said: “I didn’t feel like I had to go try and make something happen or press, you know, so I didn’t panic when I made a bogey on two. I just kind of adjusted to the round and kind of got a feel for where I was with my swing and my game. I hit some really good shots, felt like I could have made a couple more putts, but overall I’m very pleased.”
Rahm getting “better and better”
John Rahm is arguably in the form of his life and is understandably in a confident mood going into the final day of action at Torrey Pines. He has good memories here as it was the scene of his maiden major triumph back in 2021. After his third round on Friday, he told reporters:
“There’s pressure for obvious things, but I’ve won my last two tournaments so I have no reason not to believe that I can do it one more time. I’ve been swinging it beautifully all week and it just keeps getting better and better, so hopefully tomorrow I can do what needs to be done.”