Closing Eagle Lifts Rahm to First USPGA Tour Title

Jon Rahm of Spain plays his shot from the 16th tee during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South on January 29, 2017 in San Diego, California

La Jolla (United States) (AFP) – Spain’s Jon Rahm claimed his first US PGA Tour title in style Sunday, rolling in an eagle putt from the fringe at the final hole to win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Rahm had broken free of the group tied for the lead at 10-under with a birdie at 17.

At the par-five finishing hole on the South Course, he reached the back fringe with his second shot. Rahm’s effort from 60 feet snaked toward the hole and into the cup to cap a seven-under 65.

His 13-under total of 275 proved to be enough for a three-shot victory as the bevy of golfers on his heels stalled late.

Taiwan’s Pan Cheng Tsung and American Charles Howell shared second on 10-under 278.

England’s Justin Rose closed with a two-under 70 to head a group on 279 alongside Americans Keegan Bradley (67), Pat Perez (70), Patrick Rodgers (72) and Tony Finau (71).

Rahm, 22, had opened with a bogey, but after birdies at the third, fifth and 11th he put himself among the leaders with an eagle at the 13th.

“Thanks to 13, I got myself into it,” said Rahm, whose second shot from a fairway bunker left him an 18-footer for eagle.

Rahm said his thought process all day was far different from his mindset at last year’s National, where he finished third after leading or sharing the lead over the first two rounds.

There, he said, he was second-guessing himself on the greens, afraid of over-hitting and costing himself pars.

“Today it was just completely different,” Rahm said. “I was just focused on making putts and hitting the right shots.”

Pan, a 25-year-old also chasing a first US tour title, had reached 10-under for the tournament after birdies at eight, nine and 10, but he couldn’t find another birdie.

Howell earned his share of second with a birdie at 18 that capped a 68 and put him in the clubhouse at 10-under before Rahm’s late-round heroics.

J.J. Spaun was 10-under after a birdie at 17, but found the water en route to a double-bogey at 18, while Finau’s challenge effectively ended with a bogey at 15.

Brandt Snedeker, the defending champion gunning for a third title at Torrey Pines, just couldn’t get much going even though he’s an old hand at storming finishes on the picturesque course hugging the Pacific coast.

Snedeker was seven shots adrift after 54 holes when he won in 2012, and rallied from six back last year.

With a share of the 54-hole lead this time around, Snedeker shot a one-over 73 to join a group sharing ninth on 280.