Jon Rahm Claims Hard-Fought American Express Title

In a tight tussle with PGA Tour rookie, Davis Thompson, it was Rahm who secured his fourth win in six starts

Rahm fist pumps while Thompson is distraught
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Going into the final round of The American Express, it seemed that we were destined for a straight out battle between the world's most in form player, Jon Rahm, and PGA Tour rookie, Davis Thompson.

However, during the final day's play on Sunday, we saw a number of players making huge moves in California, with scores of 62, 63 and 64 appearing to be the norm over the final 18 holes.

Players like Xander Schauffele (who made an albatross at the fifth hole in his final round), Chris Kirk and Taylor Montgomery had made massive moves on the final day but, eventually, it came down to the overnight leaders to battle it out for victory.

With both Rahm and Thompson sat on 26-under through 11 holes, it would come down to the final stretch to crown our eventual winner. Certainly, as the holes passed by, it looked like it wasn't going to be Rahm's day, with a number of putts lipping out and burning the edge. For the Spaniard though, who had been 50-under-par through his last seven rounds, he caught his big break on the par 5 16th.

As Davis found trouble and was forced to play out from a bunker, Rahm was having a go at the green. A clean strike followed, but the ball was heading left and towards the infamous 18-foot drop that guards the green. Somehow though, his ball kicked forward and, maximising on the fortunate bounce, the Spaniard carded a birdie to move one shot clear with two holes remaining.

Thompson reacts after his missed putt

Thompson reacts after his putt agonisingly misses on the 71st hole

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With Rahm clear, it was Thompson's turn for the putter to backfire, with a lengthy birdie putt at the 17th looking for all the world that it would drop in the middle of the hole. Amazingly, it would hit the pin and somehow not fall, causing Thompson to drop his putter in disbelief.

Rahm now had the chance to extend the lead to two going down the last but, once again, he saw his putt brush the hole and miraculously not drop! The lead stayed at one and, after Thompson put his approach long on the 18th, a safe second shot all but guaranteed a fourth title in six worldwide starts for Rahm.

As his birdie putt slid by, again, Rahm tapped in for a second American Express title and back-to-back PGA Tour wins and a run which has seen him claim nine top eight finishes in his last 10 starts.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x