The only player to stare down Dustin Johnson the last few weeks was Jon Rahm. (Okay, so did Xander Schauffele on the gross score leaderboard at East Lake).
He won on a U.S. Open style test at Olympic Fields where 4-under was all it took to reach a playoff. Rahm stole the show by nailing a 66-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole to stun DJ. Don’t forget Rahm won on another brutal test at the Memorial Tournament in July where he reached 9-under to end up three clear of the field, even with a penalty.
He’ll look to get back to world No. 1 where he’s had some stints recently on the carousel.
Rahm is the best player in the world without a major. That clarification shouldn’t hang around him much longer.
The fiery Spaniard has been knocking on the door the last three years. He’s got four top-10s in his last nine majors with a T-13th at this year’s PGA Championship to boot. Three of those were top-fives.
At age 25, Rahm already owns six European Tour titles and five on the PGA Tour.
This seems like a good week for Rahm to win. DJ is hotter than ever, but you look around the field and see no Brooks Koepka, a new dad in Rory McIlroy, a hot and cold Justin Thomas, a slumping Bryson DeChambeau and XanderSchauffele who hasn’t won in nearly two years.
No fans in New York seems like a good thing for Rahm. The fewer the distractions the better, because when it boils down to pure talent, he rises to the top.