Late eagles lift Rahm to first tour title

A jubilant Jon Rahm after his 60-foot eagle putt on the final hole effectively gave him victory at Torrey Pines on Sunday.
A jubilant Jon Rahm after his 60-foot eagle putt on the final hole effectively gave him victory at Torrey Pines on Sunday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LA JOLLA (California) • Spanish rookie golfer Jon Rahm eagled two of the last six holes to clinch his first PGA Tour title by three shots in sensational fashion at the Farmers Insurance Open outside San Diego on Sunday.

His final eagle was stunning, a multiple-breaking 60-foot putt from the fringe at the back of the green at the par-five 18th, where his ball took a final turn to the left before disappearing into the cup to spark jubilant celebration by Rahm and the watching fans.

The 22-year-old, who turned professional seven months ago, covered the back nine in 30 strokes to card a seven-under 65 at Torrey Pines South Course and break clear of a crowded leader board. He finished at 13-under 275.

"It's amazing," Rahm said after becoming the youngest champion at Torrey Pines and emulating fellow Spaniards Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia as a PGA Tour winner.

"Just to get into that position (to win) is so hard and I am so blessed to be able to say that I did it on my third time having a chance to win, having just started my PGA Tour career."

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  • Jon Rahm will jump into the ranks of the world's top 50 golfers with his win at the Farmers Insurance Open, a leap of at least 87 spots.

Chinese Taipei's Pan Cheng- tsung (70) and American Charles Howell (68) tied for second on a see-sawing day, when eight players held at least a share of the lead during the final round.

Rahm, who will jump into the world top 50 after starting the week ranked 137th, was three shots behind heading into the final round.

He moved into a tie at the top when he drained an 18-foot eagle putt at the par-five 13th, after hitting a superb second shot from a fairway bunker.

"That putt was a little bit of just lagging it up there and hoping that it kept the line," he said. "I just aimed between the two spots that we were thinking of and thank god it went in."

Rahm edged a stroke in front when he sank a five-footer to birdie the par-four 17th and effectively secured the title with his spectacular eagle at the last.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2017, with the headline 'Late eagles lift Rahm to first tour title'. Print Edition | Subscribe