Monday, January 22, 2018

Jon Rahm wins CareerBuilder Challenge at 4th play-off hole


Jon Rahm, pictured above,  birdied the fourth extra hole to beat Andrew Landry and achieve his second US PGA Tour victory at the CareerBuilder Challenge in California on Sunday.
Rahm, from Spain, gave himself the perfect confidence boost as he defends a title for the first time at Torrey Pines this week, holing from 10 feet in fading light on the 18th green at the third time of asking to earn his fourth win worldwide since turning professional less than 20 months ago, lifting him to second in the world rankings.
Landry had a putt from similar distance from the other side of the hole to extend the contest, which would likely have taken place on Monday morning, but his effort slid past the cup on the right side.
The American had earlier forced the play-off by draining an almost identical putt in regulation, and the pair both missed good chances for birdie on the 18th green twice before trading pars again at the 10th.
The pair returned to the 18th tee and Rahm pushed his three-wood into the right rough before Landry flushed his driver straight down the middle of the fairway before applying the pressure with a well-judged second.
But the Spaniard was up to the challenge as he took advantage of a good lie to fire his approach straight over the pin, and he atoned for his earlier misses as his slippery birdie putt dropped in the right edge.
Rahm had earlier set the clubhouse target at 22 under par 266 after carding a flawless 67 on the Stadium Course, cruising to the turn in 34 before making three birdies in five holes on the back nine.
The 23-year-old missed a great chance to extend his lead when he missed from six feet for birdie at the long 16th, but he parred safely in and then kept himself active on the range while waiting for his closest challengers to finish.
Landry emerged as the biggest threat when he birdied the 13th, although a run of four pars left him needing to birdie the 72nd hole to join Rahm at the top of the leaderboard.

Andrew Landry birdied the 72nd hole to force the play-off
Andrew Landry birdied the 72nd hole to force the play-off
He held his nerve to find the centre of the cup with his perfect putt for a three, but he could not repeat the feat four holes later as Rahm celebrated leaping above Jordan Spieth in the world rankings.
Adam Hadwin, who fired a memorable 59 in this event last year, closed with a 68 to earn a share of third with American pair John Huh (66) and Martin Piller (70), with Scott Piercy and Kevin Chappell a further stroke adrift.
Sam Saunders, grandson of the late, great Arnold Palmer, began his final round with three straight birdies and then picked up six shots over his last seven holes to return an impressive 64 which lifted him to 18 under, while Irishman Seamus Power just missed out on a top-10 finish despite keeping a bogey-free card, while making only two birdies in his 70.
He finished T11 on 271 (70-66-65-70).
Russell Knox finished T29 on 275 with scores of 69, 64, 71 and 71.





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