Jon Rahm wins second 2023 PGA Tour title

California (BBC): Spain’s Jon Rahm held off rookie Davis Thompson to win The American Express, his second PGA Tour title of the year.

Rahm and Thompson, 23, were tied with three holes to play but the European Ryder Cup player made a birdie and two pars to claim a one-stroke victory. The 28-year-old finished with a four-under-par 68 as American Thompson shot a closing 69 at La Quinta, California. Rahm now has four victories in his last six starts and has moved up to third in the world ranking.

The former US Open champion, who won the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the start of the month, also claimed two wins on the DP World Tour at the end of 2022.

Rahm’s birdie on the par-five 16th saw him pull ahead of Thompson, who made par. Thompson – in only his 20th PGA Tour start – then missed a 48ft putt on the 17th for birdie, with his ball glancing off the pin, which he had chosen to leave in.

At the 18th, Rahm drove into a bunker but recovered to within 15ft of the hole, while Thompson’s approach rolled off the back edge and he missed with his attempt at a chip-in birdie, allowing the Spaniard to two-putt for the win. “I think today was about as comfortable as I’ve been in a long time on the golf course, tee to green,” said Rahm.

“Every time I felt like this in the past, I’ve ended up going on to win, just because it takes a lot of pressure off a lot of parts of my game, knowing that basically I’m going to hit the shot that I’m envisioning. And that’s a really unique zone to put yourself in.” American Xander Schauffele shot a blistering closing 62 to claim a share of third with Chris Kirk while Scottie Scheffler finished tied 11th on 22 under.

The 26-year-old missed a birdie on the final hole that would have seen him return to world number one by a fraction of a point ahead of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy will make his 2023 debut in Dubai on the DP World Tour this week.

England’s Justin Rose was the highest-placed British player as he finished in a tie for 26th.