2023 American Specific leaderboard, grades: Jon Rahm holds off feisty rookie Davis Thompson for win at PGA West

2023 American Express leaderboard, grades: Jon Rahm holds off feisty rookie Davis Thompson for win at PGA West

It wasn’t as fairly as his Event of Champions victory two weeks in the past, however Jon Rahm’s triumph on the 2023 American Specific featured equal drama down the stretch. Getting into the ultimate spherical at PGA West at 23 below and in a share of the lead with PGA Tour rookie Davis Thompson, it appeared early on that Rahm would run away from the sector for his ninth title on the PGA Tour.

Hitting his strategy shot on No. 1 to 2 ft and his strategy into No. 2 to 1 foot, Rahm shortly grabbed a two-stroke lead over his taking part in competitor. Thompson would battle again with three birdies over his subsequent six holes to get again inside one, and when Rahm made bogey on the par-3 thirteenth, the 2 had been immediately all squared.

Pivotal second after pivotal second would ensue over the ultimate 5 holes. With Thompson in with an 8-foot birdie look on the 14th and Rahm needing to gap a putt of comparable distance simply to salvage par, a two-shot swing appeared imminent. As a substitute, the 2 walked off the inexperienced in the identical place as they started the outlet and would stay this fashion till the par-5 sixteenth.

Rahm obtained the break of his match when his second shot tight-roped the 19-foot bunker defending the inexperienced and remained on the correct degree. Confronted with a comparatively simple up-and-down, an 8-foot birdie blow from the Spaniard’s blade curled within the high aspect to offer him the solo lead at 27 below.

This margin was almost short-lived as Thompson’s birdie bid on 17 careened off the flagstick, shocking even an onlooking Rahm. Finally exchanging pars, and doing so as soon as once more on the 72nd gap, the previous world No. 1 was in a position to efficiently fend off the 23-year-old for his fourth worldwide victory in simply six begins. Grade: A+

Rick Gehman, Kyle Porter, Mark Immelman and Greg DuCharme recap Sunday’s motion on the American Specific. Observe & hearken to The First Lower on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Right here is the breakdown of the remainder of the leaderboard on the 2023 American Specific.

2. Davis Thompson (-26): I am extraordinarily excessive on Thompson this season, and the one motive he did not get his first win is as a result of the most well liked golfer on Earth was taking part in the identical match as him. Really, maybe the one motive he did not get his first win is as a result of he did not take the flag out on the seventeenth gap on Sunday. Grade: A+

T3. Xander Schauffele (-26): After withdrawing from the Event of Champions, Schauffele placed on a present on the weekend in Palm Springs, capturing 14 below over two days to just about chase down Rahm. He stated earlier within the week that his again, which was the supply of that WD in Hawaii, feels higher and he plans on taking part in quite a bit over the following few months. Grade: A

“Yeah, it is just a bit sore,” stated Schauffele. “I did nothing and I had lots of work achieved on it. So it is somewhat sore. I’ve gotten in in all probability extra swings than I needed to in these final three days. So simply extra work to be achieved on it. I bought to be somewhat bit extra affected person in my return.”

He additionally made the Tour’s first albatross since July 2022. Grade: A

T3. Chris Kirk (-25): What a begin to 2023 for Kirk, who’s taking part in his greatest golf in almost a 12 months. He completed third final week on the Sony Open earlier than scaring the lead on the again 9 on Sunday this week. Surprisingly, Kirk hasn’t received on the PGA Tour since Colonial all the way in which again in 2015. Following his battle with and sluggish restoration from alcohol abuse and melancholy, a win for him could be each celebratory within the golf group in addition to inspiring. Maybe it is coming quickly, however even when it does not, Kirk — who completed within the high 5 eventually 12 months’s PGA Championship — is a enjoyable and intriguing comply with proper now. Grade: A

5. Taylor Montgomery (-24): How about this: There are 9 gamers tied for second in high 10 finishes this PGA Tour season. All of them have three high 10s. And they’re all trailing Montgomery who, after his fifth-place end right here, now has 4. He is been taking part in at an especially excessive (and underrated) degree to this point this season and goes to make some actual noise in each the Official World Golf Rankings and the FedEx Cup if that is his baseline degree of play. Grade: A+

T6. Erik van Rooyen (-23): EVR had his greatest end anyplace on the planet in a 12 months and managed to do it whereas wanting like someone who is aware of his approach round a saloon and travels the Tour’s west coast swing through railway. Which I help, after all. Grade: A

LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 20: Erik van Rooyen of South Africa performs his shot from the second tee through the second spherical of The American Specific at PGA West La Quinta Nation Membership on January 20, 2023 in La Quinta, California.
Getty Photographs

T26. Cameron Younger (-18): The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Yr ranked fourth in strokes gained strategy throughout his two rounds on the Stadium Course however continued to battle with the putter. Switching backwards and forwards between a traditional grip and the pencil grip with the flat stick, it’s clear he’s going by way of one thing on the greens. His around-the-green play wasn’t significantly better, and solely then, when his short-game woes dissolve, will Younger discover the winner’s circle for the primary time. Grade: C

T54. Rickie Fowler (-13): It was a resurgent swing season for Fowler with a runner-up end on the Zozo Championship and one other top-10 effort on the Fortinet Championship. Making his 2023 debut this week, he confirmed that, regardless of some nice moments, he nonetheless has an extended solution to go to reenter the higher echelon of golf. Too many huge numbers had been in the end Fowler’s downfall, however volatility can usually be a precursor to success. Grade: C-