Jon Rahm proves his place as No. 1 with win at Genesis Invitational: ‘I’m having the best season of my life’

LOS ANGELES. Max Homa knew he needed to be perfect to catch what he called “the hottest golfer on the planet.”

While he had a solid final round, it wasn’t enough to overtake John Ram, who more than fit that description.

Rahm, starting the day with a three-shot lead, held on to win the Genesis Invitational on Sunday afternoon at the Riviera Country Club. The win comes amid a wild period of dominance by the Spaniard, who now has 10 career PGA Tour victories and is back at number one in the official world golf rankings.

Ram left the door open for Homa and a few others many times on Sunday. He spooked third after he missed a hit and had to scramble to save a ghost after he missed a hit in the trees and then hit the bunker in 10th. Homa pocketed each of those holes, which wiped Ram’s lead off the board.

However, none of the errors persisted. Ram hit a deep birdie nearly 46 feet from the edge to regain the lead on par 3 on 14th, and then narrowly missed a hole on par 3 on 16th. Suddenly, he fell behind by two, and there were two holes left to go through.

Ram then ended his day with a pair of pars to take the win with two shots under the age of 17. Homa scored 3-under 68 to finish the week 15th. His finish moved him up to 8th in OWGR, marking the first time in his career that he had made it to the top 10.

“Dude, I fought,” an emotional Homa said. “I really just wanted to push him… He’s an amazing golfer. I would say, except for the tiger [Woods] and, I don’t even know, he’s the most consistent player I’ve ever seen.”

Continued dominance of John Rahm

Ram is not alone at the top of the sport. World No. 2 Scotty Sheffler and World No. 3 Rory McIlroy are also playing golf at the highest level. Scheffler finished T12 at the Genesis Invitational, albeit nine shots behind Rahm, and McIlroy finished his week 4th under at T29.

But none of them are as consistent as Ram.

Ram now has three wins this season after winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions and The American Express. He is the fastest golfer to have won three Tours in a calendar year since Johnny Miller in 1975. He has also won five of his last nine joint starts in the US and abroad, starting with the Acciona Open de Espana and DP World. Tour Championship at the end of last year. Two of those victories came in the first three newly designated Tour tournaments, which feature better fields and higher payouts.

John Ram
John Ram has won five times in his last nine international starts. (AP/Ryan Kahn)

Ram also ranked first again for the first time in almost a year and now has seven top 10 finishes in as many Tour appearances this season. Although he has issues with the current OWGR system, Ram is not concerned about where he ends up in the rankings. He knows where he is.

“If I don’t get to No. 1 at this point, I don’t care,” Ram said. “I have won five of my last nine starts. Worse than the seven did not finish, but won already three tournaments [this season].

“I don’t need a rating to tell me, to confirm anything, right? I’m having the best season of my life and hopefully I can continue it.”

Ram’s reign will not last forever. As recently as last summer, he experienced some difficulties and the 28-year-old will have to face difficulties again at some point before he is finished.

But as long as his path to victory continues, he’s going to take full advantage.

“I guess I just keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he said. “You know, I obviously did a lot of things every day that I needed to do properly, and that’s the main thing, right? Just keep up this daily process as well as I do.

“Obviously I’ve been extremely disciplined my entire career, but now I’m seeing the fruits of years of hard work. So just keep doing the little things and keep enjoying it, having fun.”


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