La Quinta, California – The West Coast swing has begun and its Jon Rahm in the winners circle as the 2023 American Express champion. Already his second victory on the year, Rahm is likely the best golfer on the planet right now and it shows. Despite being ranked number four in the OWGR, Jon Rahm is quickly proving his case for being number one.
10 of the top 20 players in the world competed this week at the multi-course tournament but not all played like top 20 golfers. With the uniqueness of the tournament, cuts are made after 54 holes and not the typical 36. Add in the forgiving desert courses with mild weather and you get a cut line at 10-under par. Nonetheless, the number seven golfer in the world, Will Zalatoris just barely made the cut after shooting a pair of 69’s and a 67 on Saturday. Will finished in a tie for 35th after carding a final round 67. Patrick Cantlay who is ranked even higher as the number five golfer in the world also just barely made the cut at 11-under par and ended in a tie for 21st at 19 under par.
In contrast, the two highest ranked golfers in the field this week, Jon Rahm and Scottie Sheffler, proved why they are ranked so high. Scottie started with a pedestrian 4 under 68 Thursday before going crazy, shooting a 65 and 66 to vault him to the top of the leaderboard. Sunday’s round of 67 was solid but he just couldn’t make enough noise to chase down the leaders.
Jon Rahm was consistent all week shooting a pair of 64’s and following it up a 65 on Saturday for pole position heading into Sunday. Sunday was much of the same from Rahm with quite a few competitors trying to chase him down. Namely, PGA Tour rookie Davis Thompson who found himself in contention on the back nine of his first PGA Tour start. Davis fired a first round 62 and followed that up with a 64 and 67. The UGA product then went out and held his own against one of the best players in the world carding a final round 69. While it was just shy of a victory, he is certainly one player to keep an eye for 2023.
Xander Schauffele and Jason Day are also two players that played well this week. Xander with the highlight of the week made a double eagle in his final round and finished with a 10 under 62, good for a 3rd place tie. Day, who recently went through some significant swing changes, managed to go low in his final round with a 67 and finishing in a tie for 18th.
Next week the PGA Tour heads to San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open where Luke List is the defending champion.
Jon Rahm’s What’s In The Bag:
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (10.5°) / Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
3 Wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (16°) / Aldila Tour Green 85 ATX shaft
5 Wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (18°) / Graphite Design Tour AD SI-8 shaft
Irons: Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW) / Project X 6.5
Wedges: Callaway JAWS Raw (52°, 56°, 60°) / Project X 6.5
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X