With his third victory of the year on Sunday at the Genesis Invitational in Pacific Palisades, California, Jon Rahm went back to the top of the global rankings. Rahm defeated Max Homa in the final round of their intense matchup.
In the third round of the Genesis Invitational, Rahm, Max Homa, and Keith Mitchell were the final trio of the day to reach Riviera’s magnificent 18th hole, with the Spaniard having a two-shot advantage over the other two.
The margin would be one stroke going into Sunday’s final round if either of the chasers could make a birdie on the last hole to go along with a Rahm par.
But, Jon Rahm is playing in Southern California on Kikuyu and Poa Annua surfaces, which to him resemble an expensively woven carpet. He also has the highest level of trust in his game after two victories and three more near calls in a calendar year that is still young.
The 28-year-old Spaniard Rahm finished at 17-under and defeated home favorite Homa by two shots. This was Rahm’s 10th PGA Tour victory and sixth triumph in his past nine international competitions. Homa, who prevailed in 2021, recorded a three-under 68 for a total of 269 at 15 under par, one stroke better than Patrick Cantlay.
Only a week after The Masters winner passed Rory McIlroy by successfully defending his Phoenix Open title, Rahm’s most recent victory was sufficient to pass Scottie Scheffler, who was nine shots back.
Rahm, who was ranked first in March 2022, said, “I don’t need a rating to justify anything. I’m in the happiest season of my life, and I hope it lasts.” Both that week and that Sunday were difficult. It’s very amazing to win more than ten times, and it’s an honor to do it on a golf course that has such a rich history and is run by Tiger Woods himself.
Woods, 47, attracted attention as he competed for the first time since the British Open in July of last year. He shot a final-round two-over-par 73 to finish on one under. For the first time since The Masters in April of last year, the 15-time major champion finished a 72-hole competition.
Woods, who has played the Riviera course 12 times without succeeding, declared, “My streak continues here.” “It’s moving forward and accurately. Undoubtedly, it was a little trickier than I probably gave it credit for.”
Homa, a native of Los Angeles who won the Genesis in 2021 and has four victories in California, appeared to have an equal chance of gaining a lead going into the third round. By hitting four birdies against no bogeys over 14 holes, he kept up with Rahm.
Nevertheless, the two-time champion this year struggled, making a bogey at the par-4 15th after driving into a fairway bunker and another bogey at the par-3 16th after finding more sand and being unable to get up and down. Letting Rahm secure the win and retake the top spot.