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Jon Rahm has returned to the top of golf’s world rankings after coming out victorious at the Genesis Invitational in Southern California. The Spaniard ended the week with a score of -17, which was enough for him to win the Tiger Woods-hosted event by two shots.
Rahm has been in sensational form in 2023 and has now won three tournaments in six weeks. He kicked off his year with victory at the Tournament of Champions before following it up with a win at the American Express.
Few can begrudge him his new status as the world’s best golfer, something he has believed himself to be for some time now. It isn’t uncharted territory for Rahm either after he held the position throughout 2020.
Over four days of action at the Riviera Country Club, Rahm was unquestionably the best player in the field. He led the tournament by three shots going into the final round and despite a push from Max Homa, he cruised through for victory.
Homa, who has also enjoyed success on the PGA Tour this year, ended up two shots back of Rahm on -15 with Patrick Cantlay a further shot back on -14. Scottie Scheffler, who was the world number one going into the event after winning the Phoenix Open, finished in a tie for 12th on -8.
Tiger Woods, who was making his long-awaited return to competitive golf, ended the week with a score of -1 while Rory Mcilroy finished on -4.
A thrilling final round
With a three-shot lead going into round four, many expected Rahm to make light work of the final 18 holes and win comfortably. Unfortunately for him, Max Homa had other ideas and managed to overtake Rahm with six holes to play.
The change at the top of the leaderboard seemed to jolt Rahm into life though and he caught fire down the stretch. On the 14th, he sunk a monster putt from 45 feet for birdie and then came inches away from a hole-in-one on the par three 16th.
From 159 yards to 2 feet. Jon Rahm nearly aces the par-3 16th.pic.twitter.com/VMtFZdEwyj
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) February 19, 2023
A tap in there gave him a two-shot lead over Homa with two to play and Rahm was able to secure victory with back-to-back pars. There were opportunities for Homa to apply some pressure on the Spaniard but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t manage to find a single birdie across the final five holes.
Rahm the record breaker
The win means that Rahm now has more PGA Tour victories (10) than his hero, Seve Ballesteros. Speaking afterwards, he told reporters:
“That was a tough week and a tough Sunday. Max battled out there and Patrick Cantlay gave us a scare, so I’m just glad I could come through at the end.
I know Seve didn’t play full-time PGA Tour and I know five of his wins were 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.”