Jon Rahm has been the pre-tournament favorite plenty of times this year, and now, he’s cashed in on those expectations. Here is our 2022 Mexico Open Recap.
Entering the Mexico Open as an overwhelming +500 betting favorite, Rahm—the No. 2 golfer in the world after ceding the top spot to Scottie Scheffler last month—started strong with a 64, was up front the whole weekend, and hit a key birdie putt on No. 14 to break a late tie to win for the first time since last year’s U.S. Open.
The weakness in Rahm’s game has been on the green, ranking 132nd in Shots Gained: Putting. He hadn’t competed since the Masters and spent time at his home club in Arizona putting on what he called “completely baked” greens to prepare for this week’s event, and it paid dividends.
“I got a little tired about answering questions about stats and putting and short game and this and that,” Rahm said after his round on Sunday. “It’s just how the game is. I knew I was improving, I knew I was seeing results, and this week has proven that.”
Rahm said that playing with Tiger Woods in the final round of the Masters allowed him to simplify his game, and he took that approach this week with stellar results.
“I’m a feel player, and that Sunday, I told myself just go out there and hit the golf ball, make shots, see the ball flight and execute, and I shot a 3 under without having my best stuff on a tough day. So, I applied the same thing this week, minimal technical thoughts and just visualizing ball flight of the shot and getting back to my true self, and I truly saw the difference,” Rahm explained.
Rahm’s birdie putt on 14 put him one shot clear of Tony Finau, Brandon Wu, and Kurt Kitayama. Finau and Wu both shot 63s on Sunday to surge into the runner-up spot, and Kitayama shot a 68 to remain in second place, which is where he started the day. Rahm followed up rounds of 64, 66, and 68 with a 69 on Sunday for a 17-under 267 for the tournament.
For Finau, the second-place effort was his first finish inside the top 15 all season, ending a rough stretch after winning The Northern Trust during the FedEx Cup playoffs last August. He closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th after missing a chance at eagle that would’ve forced a playoff.
“I really wanted to put together a nice week and I was able to do that this week and gave myself a chance to do something special right at the end,” said Finau. “Making a 3 on 18 probably would have been a big deal, but making that putt for birdie, a lot of confidence builders on a day like today, and I’ll carry that with me the rest of the season.”
Davis Riley finished in fifth at -15 while Aaron Wise, David Lipsky, Alex Smalley, and Cameron Champ tied for sixth place at 14-under.
With Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina hosting the Presidents Cup this fall, TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, hosts a PGA Tour event for the first time in four years with this weekend’s Wells Fargo Championship. Rory McIlroy is the defending champion of the event and leads the field this week.