2023 Genesis Invitational Leaderboard, Grades: Jon Rahm Continues Historic Run With Victory At Riviera

Stop if you’ve heard this before: Jon Rahm has won another golf tournament. That’s right, the Spaniard secured his third PGA Tour title of the year with Sunday’s triumph over Max Homa and Patrick Cantlay at the 2023 Genesis Invitational. with the profit Rahm became the third fastest golfer in history Record three PGA Tour wins in a calendar year before March 1st.

“I could explain exhaustion now,” said Rahm. β€œIt was a tough week and a tough Sunday. Max was fighting out there and Patrick kind of scared us. I’m just glad I got through in the end… To reach a milestone of double-digit wins is pretty incredible, and to do so on a golf course with this legacy, this history and host Tiger Woods himself is a true honor. I can’t really explain it.”

Going into the final round with a three-shot lead, Rahm struggled at various points throughout the day but made it through Riviera Country Club in a way only a champion could. With his lead dwindling to two by the turn of the final group, Rahm would face some adversity in the inside nine.

It started when he hit the treacherous par 4 10. Rahm smashed his tee shot into the trees and left his approach field just before firing his third across the putting surface and into a green bunker. A 6 foot was needed to save bogey and it was rebuilt. With Homa in the birdie, the two suddenly found themselves at the top of the rankings.

A missed opportunity on the par-11th 5 followed before a three-putt on the par-12th saw Rahm lose the lead entirely, but that would be short-lived. After retaking part of the lead, the newly crowned world No. 1 pulled all the way forward with an emphatic birdie off the green on the par-3 14.

“I kept telling myself after 12, even though it was a mistake I made β€” an unforced mistake β€” that it’s a really damn difficult golf course to finish on,” Rahm said. “It’s very difficult and I said to myself, ‘If I can finish the last six holes under par, the last five holes under par, I knew I had a chance.’ Obviously it was highlighted by that great putt on 14 and that great shot on 16. When you’re at that point you just need to find the positive and change focus and I went a little bit more on offense.

Another birdie on the par-3 16 ended Rahm’s third title of the year as he ended the week 17 shots under and two shots clear of Homa. Good for his fifth world win in his last nine starts, the run Rahm is currently riding can only be classified as historic.

The numbers, the tweets, the references, they’re all just insane. Should this track move into April and the major championship season, we may just see the start of the best season in quite some time. Since Tiger Woods in 2006, no man has won a total of eight times on the PGA Tour — two of which were major championships — a number that could seriously threaten Rahm. Rating: A+

Here’s the breakdown of the rest of the 2023 Genesis Invitational leaderboards

2. Max Homa (-15): If there’s a moment Homa will look back on with disdain, it’s the tee shot to #13. The Californian, who had just jumped in front of Rahm for the first time that day, hit a bizarre tee shot that barely lifted off the ground and hit dead in the middle of a eucalyptus tree. He ended up making a pretty good bogey but lost a lot of the momentum he was slowly gathering during the back nine.

A birdie by Rahm on the 14th was a punch in the gut from which Homa never quite recovered. He’s always been hailed as a player who gets the best out of his runs, and prior to this week he had never finished second on the PGA Tour. More Sunday fights will happen in Homa’s future as he seriously advocates being the 4th best player in the world. Let’s see if he can do it on a more consistent basis out of the state of California. Rating: A+

3. Patrick Cantlay (-14): He had a very real chance of winning this tournament, although it never really felt plausible. Cantlay started the final round five strokes behind Rahm’s pace and carded five birdies in his first 11 holes to get close to one of the leaders. That was the best he could achieve thanks to two poor bogeys at the end of the stretch. This was Cantlay’s first quality outing of 2023 and he will now turn to Florida where he has struggled in the past. Class: A

4. Will Zalatoris (-13): Zlatoris was the only top player to skip the World Championship Phoenix Open and emerged sluggishly from the gates at the Riviera. He improved as the week progressed, putting together a brave final-round attack with eight birdies. Unable to truly threaten the leaders, he ranked within the top 15 in every metric for strokes won from tee to green for the week. The 26-year-old should be a legitimate contender for the Arnold Palmer Invitational in two weeks time as any back worries appear to be behind him. Grade: A-

5. Keith Mitchell (-12): I’ve been buying Mitchell stock for two years, and his West Coast swing will only leave you wanting more. The hard-hitting Bulldog went head to head with two of the game’s hottest players at the Riv over the weekend and had a couple of lip-outs, a very different story could have been told. He’s playing like a top 30 player in the world and should he continue to play regularly in non-designated events his second career win is soon to come. Grade: B+

T45. Tiger Forest (-1): There was some good and some bad from Woods in his first competitive start since The Open at St Andrews. Woods had a lot of speed in the first three days but dropped slightly on Sunday. Still, this week was a good reminder of what to expect from Woods going forward. There will be moments when he hits punches reminiscent of his prime and there will be moments when you’ll want to cringe. Who knows if he’ll play before the Masters at Bay Hill or TPC Sawgrass (my money wouldn’t bet on either), but if he does, the reception won’t be any different than at the Riviera. Rating: A+

MC. Jordan Spieth: After a week in Phoenix, where he finished third in shots on green and second in shots approaching, Spieth seemed to be headed in the right direction. That rise has been cut short as he has now only made two of his last four cuts, one of which has been right on the number. Spieth is a past winner at Florida State, but this part of the game plan has given him a few bouts in recent years as he’s likely to serve at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship. Class: F