Powered by two eagles in his final six holes, rookie Jon Rahm earned his first career victory at the Farmers Insurance Open Sunday.
Rahm is the first Spaniard to win at Torrey Pines since Jose Maria Olazabal in 2002 and his win marks the first time since Jay Don Blake in 1991 that a player made the Farmers Insurance Open their first tour victory. Rahm’s final round 65 was the low round of the day and included a back nine 30.
The leaderboard was cluttered for much of the final round. At one point, there were 16 players within two shots of the lead. While most of the lead groups were stuck in neutral, Keegan Bradley and Charles Howell III made early charges before Rahm put his hat in the ring with an eagle on the par-5 13th.
The emotions are flowing.
The putts are going.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 29, 2017
Rahm then broke out of a tie for the lead with a birdie on 17 and punctuated his win by holing a meandering, downhill 60-footer for eagle on 18. Even with some groups remaining on the course, the eagle put Rahm’s lead out of reach and will go down as one of the most memorable moments in tournament history.
- After 36 holes, it appeared that we were in store for a dual between veterans Brandt Snedeker and Justin Rose. However, Snedeker, who was the defending champion, and Rose could never get their games rolling in the final two rounds. Snedeker finished T-9, while Rose ended up at T-4, the Englishman’s second top-five finish in his last two starts
- Rahm’s agent is his former college coach at Arizona State, Tim Mickelson - Phil’s brother.
- Rahm, who’s 22, is the youngest champion in tournament history and the fourth international winner of the event.
— Tron Carter (@TronCarterNLU) January 29, 2017
- In last week’s recap, I warned of CBS’ coverage and they did not disappoint. Instead of fitting in as many live golf shots as they could in their 3 1/2 hour window, their broadcast consists of shots of hang gliders and marine life (I get the setting is apart of the tournament’s DNA, but don’t beat the viewer over the head with it), as well as interviews with sponsors and an incessant amount of commercials.
- The coverage also includes unnecessary features with Dottie Pepper than do not add any substance to the broadcast. At one point during Saturday’s broadcast, CBS went 48 minutes between live golf shots, unbelievable.
- The greatest mysteries in modern golf is the 30 minute break between Golf Channel’s broadcast ending and CBS’ beginning. I think the reason has something with graphics and crew changes, but you’d think there would be a better way to transition the coverage.
- This Instagram post alone should make all of you Rahm fans. Any guy that plays 7 AM games of beer pong is alright in my book.
— Blake Ulrich (@blakeulrich) January 29, 2017
- Torrey Pines again proved that it is a bomber’s paradise. With guys like Rahm, Tony Finau, Keegan Bradley, and Patrick Rodgers littered through the first page of the leaderboard, length is an invaluable asset at a course like Torrey Pines that was playing even longer with the soft conditions.
- The PAC 12 was represented nicely on the Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard. Rahm (Arizona State), Rodgers (Stanford), and C.T. Pan (Washington), were tied for the lead on the back nine and fellow Arizona State grad Pat Perez also finished T-4.
- Sunday’s finish also coincides with my plea that every PGA Tour course should have a closing par-5. I know that’s unrealistic and impractical, but a par-5 18th hole adds so much excitement and adds so many possibilities to the end of a tournament.
- The PGA Tour youth movement is very real. Of the 11 events of the wraparound schedule, eight have been won by players in their 20s.
- The marquee Thursday-Friday pairing was Tiger, Jason Day, and Dustin Johnson, but all three players failed to make the weekend. It was more of the same for Tiger, but Day’s and Johnson’s struggles were more surprising. Torrey Pines fits both of their games perfectly.
- Tiger finished at +4 and missed the cut by four shots with rounds of 76 and 72. Tiger struggled out of the gate Thursday, but was holding his round together as he was -1 thru 11. However, his wayward driving finally caught up with him as he played the final seven holes of the first round at 5-over, shooting himself out of the tournament.
- Woods played much better Friday, but was unable to make up enough ground to play the weekend. Tiger’s short game has been under a microscope since he fell victim to the chipping yips at the 2015 Waste Management Open. Woods’ short game was actually pretty solid, his crooked driving was the source of his high scores - a player cannot consistently play from the rough and expect to play well at Torrey Pines.
- One qualifier for Tiger’s improved short game could be that most of his chip shots at Torrey Pines was the from the rough, whereas most of his short game struggles in recent years came on tight lies.
- Tiger will tee it up this week at the European Tour event in Dubai.
Drunk Fan of the Week:
Just lulled that security guard to sleep, if not for that last stumble, I think he makes the escape.
By far the greatest thing I saw yesterday. pic.twitter.com/WXDjRs9ZN1
— Harold Varner III (@HV3_Golf) January 28, 2017
Otter Room Picks:
Sup? Ok so my pick to win, Dustin Johnson, missed the cut, but my dark horse Jon Rahm faired pretty well, eh?
Shot of the Week:
Was there any other choice?
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) January 29, 2017
Stay tuned to The Otter Room this week for a complete preview of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.