Undoubtedly, Tiger Woods was the talk of the week leading up to the Farmer’s Insurance Open PGA Tour event. However, proving the adage “It’s not how you Start, It’s how you Finish,” a young Spaniard named Jon Rahm scored his first win while displaying some of the traits of Woods when he took the PGA by storm.
When Woods missed the cut after Friday’s round, much to the dismay of the gallery at Torrey Pines and CBS Sports executives, you would have thought there was no further reason to follow this tournament. However, you would have been wrong.
Rahm made sure that the crowds had something to watch all weekend. For starters his quality of play could very well have branded him the “next Tiger Woods.” Only 22, Rahm would only be a Senior at Arizona State, had he not graduated a year early. This mirrored the young Woods when he was just finishing up at Stanford when he first appeared on the Tour.
Like the vintage Woods, Rahm saved the best for last. Starting Sunday three shots back, he charged to three ahead, carding a 13-under par 275 in front of Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan of Taiwan, who tied for second place. He really helped himself with 3 spectacular eagles on the weekend, 2 on Sunday on the 13th and 18th holes. The one to lock up the win at 18 was an awesome putt that dropped in after a circuitous journey of 60 feet!
There are two more bits of irony going forward for young Rahm. He is now the youngest winner of this SanDiego-based tournament, breaking the mark of Phil Mickelson whose brother, Tim, now serves as the Arizona State grad’s agent. Rahm is also one of only two golfers to claim the Farmer’s Insurance Open as their first victory, the other coming in the mid-nineties.
A last bit of kismet for the first-time winner is next week’s PGA Tour stop: The WASTE MANAGEMENT Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona.