Jon Rahm has claimed his 10th PGA Tour title, after securing a dramatic victory in the Genesis Invitational. The Spaniard came through a thrilling final-round tussle with Max Homa at Riviera Country Club, finishing with a two-shot lead after a two-under 69. Rahm moved ahead of Scheffler to claim world number one for the fifth time in his career.
Rahm started the day with a three-shot lead but fell behind Homa with six holes to play. However, he produced birdies on both back nine par-threes, holing from 45 feet at the 14th and coming inches away from a hole-in-one at the 16th. Rahm’s pars over the final two holes were enough to secure his victory.
Homa was full of praise for Rahm, likening him to the Marvel villain Thanos, thanks to his tremendous golfing skills. He said, “He has a lot of the [infinity] stones in his toolbox. He’s been this dude for a long time.”
Rahm and Homa matched each other with birdies on the opening hole. At the third, a two-shot swing saw Rahm fall behind Homa by a shot after a clumsy chip led to a two-putt bogey. Homa continued to keep the pressure on with a 10-foot birdie putt at the fourth, but they exchanged pars over the next three holes.
At the sixth, Rahm squandered a birdie look from inside 10 feet but converted from five feet at the next to match Homa’s birdie. Rahm produced a brilliant approach at the eighth, setting up a kick-in birdie to restore his overnight lead.
Rahm struggled on the driveable par-four 10th hole, making a bogey-five after following a wayward drive with a poor chip into the sand. Homa took advantage with a two-putt birdie to share the lead.
Homa moved into the solo advantage when Rahm made a three-putt bogey at the 11th, but Rahm hit his tee shot into the trees at the 13th, leading to a bogey to join Homa at 15 under.
Rahm then made an incredible 45-foot birdie at the par-four 14th, followed by a key par-save at the next. His tee shot at the par-three 16th landed within tap-in range, moving him two ahead with two holes to play. Homa failed to find a birdie over the closing five holes, allowing Rahm to secure his victory.
Rahm’s win saw him break the record of his compatriot and hero, Seve Ballesteros. Although Ballesteros had five of his victories in the form of majors, Rahm’s achievement was still a remarkable milestone.
After his victory, Rahm said, “Max (Homa) battled out there, and Patrick (Cantlay) gave us a scare, so I’m just glad I could come through at the end. To do it at a golf course with this legacy, this history and hosted by the man himself, Tiger Woods, it’s a true honour. I can’t really explain it.”