Jon Rahm falls short of three straight wins


SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm is human after all.

The 28-year-old Spaniard made a mess of the fifth hole, his emotions getting the better of him at times as he carded a 2-over 74 on the South Course at Torrey Pines to finish T-7.

Rahm has bid for wins in three straight starts and struggled from the start, shooting 3-over 39 on the front nine and never being a factor in determining the champion of the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday.

Rahm entered the final round in second place, two shots behind Sam Ryder. Not only was he trying to become the first player to win three consecutive starts on the PGA Tour since Dustin Johnson in 2017, but he would return to World No. 1 for the first time since last March.

Rahm confirmed that Torrey Pines, where he won the Farmers in 2017 and the US Open in 2021, was his favorite course, but in the final round it turned into a love-hate relationship.

On a course where he averaged just a shade over 67, better than even Tiger Woods, Rahm missed a 9-foot par on the first hole to fall four shots behind, and it only got worse when he drove left into a fairway bunker. the fifth hole. With his ball close to the lip, he pulled his approach and it hit the fairway and bounced left into juicy rough.

FARMERS: Money list | Ranking list

“If it just stays in the rough, I have an up-and-down chance, hit the carpath and go to a dead spot,” he said. “I got the worst possible lie in the rough. Every time I was in the rough, I was as dead as could be.”

He bogeyed two shots at the fifth and had to hole a 9-footer to save double bogey. He got a stroke back with a birdie at the par-5 sixth, but took out his anger on the seventh tee box, smashing the head of his driver into the green in disgust, when his drive didn’t fade and ‘ found another fairway bunker. This led to another bogey.

Rahm had chances to get closer on Nos. 8 and 9, but couldn’t get the shots to drop. CBS’s Dottie Pepper noted that Rahm takes a few extra seconds longer to stand over the ball on the greens. After getting more than two shots on the greens in the third round (ranked ninth), he lost more than a stroke on the green in the final round (ranked 55st of 73 in the field).

Rahm could have regained No. 1 with a runner-up finish or solo third, depending on where reigning world No. 1 Rory McIlroy finishes at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour (which concludes Monday). But it became a moot point as Rahm, who shot up from T-116 after an opening-round 73 and the wrong side of the cut Thursday with five holes to go into Saturday’s final bracket, failed to make a draw to keep his hot streak intact. Only rounds of 75 and 77 this weekend at the South Course in the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open were higher than his final 74 in 28 combined rounds at Torrey Pines (both North and South).

“I knew it was going to be a tough day,” he said. “I knew a couple down probably would have had a chance, but I just didn’t have it.”

Still, he was a force to be reckoned with and will next be in two weeks at his hometown event, the WM Phoenix Open, not far from where he played at Arizona State.