Jon Rahm, after an up-and-down third round on the Stadium course at PGA West where he shot a two-under-par 70 despite four bogeys, played much steadier during a final-round 67 that put him a playoff that he would go on to win at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Rahm, who missed a chance to close it out in regulation and again on the first playoff hole when he missed makeable putts, won on the fourth playoff hole by sinking a 12-foot birdie putt. The putt capped a relatively strong day on the greens that saw Rahm post a .990 strokes gained/putting mark on the day with his TaylorMade Spider Tour Red putter.
Rahm, now the second-ranked player in the world after the event, seemingly took control of the tournament with a 192-metre tee shot on the par-3 13th that settled two feet from the cup, then followed that up with a 62-metre lob wedge to four feet for another birdie at the 14th that helped Rahm secure his second US PGA Tour title.
As usual, Rahm used his driver – TaylorMade’s new M4 model – as an effective weapon, averaging 283.3 metres (309.8 yards) off the tee. The club features the company’s Twist Face technology where the fast is slightly curved so that it is more open in the high toe area and slightly closed in the low heel area to promote better accuracy on mishits.
The shot Rahm hit on the 14th, however, proved critical. That shot was made with TaylorMade’s new Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge, a club that boasts more relief on the heel and toe along with weight removed from the back area to promote a higher centre of gravity to bring the ball flight down on the high-lofted club. The wedge also features grooves cut all the way across the face for added spin on shots struck near the heel or toe. For Rahm, on that shot, whatever the spin, it was just the right amount.
What Jon Rahm had in the bag at the CareerBuilder Challenge:
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (Aldila Tour Green 75TX), 9.5 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M3, 19 degrees
Irons (3): TaylorMade P790; (4-PW): TaylorMade P750
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees); TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red