After winning the Genesis Invitational in California at 17-under 267, Jon Rahm restored his position as the world’s top golfer.
The Spaniard defeated American Max Homa by two strokes in the final round on Sunday, shooting a two-under 69 to win his 10th PGA Tour championship.
The victory moves Rahm over of fellow American Scottie Scheffler, who was nine strokes back, in the standings.
It marks the 28-year-third old’s PGA Tour triumph of 2023 and his fifth triumph in his previous nine starts internationally.
Rahm now has one more PGA Tour victory than his idol and fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros.
Rahm told CBS that it had been a difficult week and Sunday.
“Beating Seve is quite amazing, even if I understand that he didn’t play on the PGA Tour frequently and that five of those victories were major tournaments.
And it’s a great honor to do it at a golf course with this history, tradition, and host in Tiger Woods, the man himself.
On the final round at the Riviera Country Club, Rahm, who previously held the top spot in March 2022, had a three-shot lead but was six holes behind Homa.
However, the Spaniard gained a lead thanks to two birdies on the par-3s at 14 and 16, and the victory was sealed with pars on the final two holes.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland replaces Scheffler as the world’s top player after the Northern Irishman finished in a tie for 29th after shooting a final-round 71 on Sunday. Scheffler had only won the Phoenix Open one week prior.
On his comeback, Woods has made “progress.”
With a final-round score of two over par, Woods finished the tournament on one under par, capping up his first tournament in seven months.
The 15-time major champion, who was severely injured in a car accident two days after this competition in 2021, stated, “It’s progress, but I didn’t win.
The 47-year-infirmities old’s still limit him, and he acknowledged that his recovery “definitely was a little bit more tough than I maybe let on.”
Woods elucidated: “My team has done a tremendous job of ensuring that my body recovers on a daily basis and that I am prepared to play every day.
“That’s the challenging aspect, which I can’t practice at home. Even if I practiced for four days at home, I wouldn’t be able to play at this level without the same amount of adrenaline, systemic amplification, intensity, and attention.”
Due to his ankle issue, Woods admitted that his goal at this point in his career was to compete in “a couple” of other events in addition to the four major championships.
The Masters, a competition Woods has won five times, will be the first major of 2023 in April at Augusta National.