The marquee tournament began with all the hype surrounding the return of Tiger Woods after a 17-month absence. The excitement was raised to an even higher level when the 14-time major champion and winner of 79 PGA Tour events was paired the top two players in the field, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson.
Thousands of fans lined the fairways ten deep to see the group with the star caliber that is usually reserved for the major championships.
All three of the superstars would miss the cut, leaving the weekend to belong to a star in the making.
Rahm, who last year during his senior year at Arizona State became the first golfer to win The Ben Hogan Award twice, came close last season when he was in contention at the Quicken Loans National and RBC Canadian Open en route to earning his PGA Tour card in only four starts.
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“I had probably hit three perfect shots, exactly the way I had wanted them and got a pretty bad lip out,” Rahm said. “That got me really aggressive and my caddy Adam was the one who kept me going. He told me to go right at the pin on 11when there wasn’t much room. I hit a great shot, stayed aggressive and it paid off.”
For his efforts over four days at Torrey Pines, Rahm earned $1.206 million, 500 FedEx Cup points, an invitation to The Masters and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
Charles Howell III finished second for the third time in the Farmers Insurance Open, tied with C.T. Pan. Five golfers including major champions Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose were tied for fourth.
Notables at Torrey Pines included defending champion Brandt Snedeker (T9, -8), Phil Mickelson (T14, -7) and Hideki Matsuyama (T33, -4).
Next up on the PGA Tour is the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
The field at the tournament that annually draws the biggest crowds on the PGA Tour is headlined by Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Jon Rahm.