Historic Feat at Genesis Invitational Helps Jon Rahm Return to World No. 1

Jon Rahm, 2023 Genesis Invitational,(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jon Rahm, 2023 Genesis Invitational,(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Jon Rahm returned to the top of the world rankings and earned his 10th PGA Tour win on Sunday at the 2023 Genesis Invitational; all thanks to this historic feat at Riviera CC.

The road to a win on the PGA Tour is never an easy one but for Jon Rahm, it appeared as though that might be the case at the conclusion of Saturday’s third round of the Genesis Invitational.

Rahm held a comfortable three-shot advantage over 2021 Genesis winner Max Homa heading into Sunday’s round after a bogey-free 65 on Saturday had the Spaniard well-positioned for a third PGA Tour victory this season already.

If things were only that simple, but this is golf and everyone knows how bumpy the road can be on the way to glory. Rahm had the opportunity to return to the top of the world rankings with a win on Sunday and while that certainly was an added bonus, it wasn’t what Jon was focused on.

Instead, the nine-time PGA Tour winner expressed on Saturday how meaningful it would be to win at the historic Riviera Country Club, accomplishing something that legends of the game Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and others had never done.

"“the fact that Tiger is the host, the fact that he’s out here playing and the history of this golf course as a venue is two reasons why I would love to be able to win here. It’s a very select group of champions and you’ll join — you join a list of champions that frankly Tiger and Jack have never joined, which probably never happens on any other golf course but this one, right?”"

With Max Homa, Keith Mitchell, and Patrick Cantlay all in close pursuit, Rahm began his final round by taking advantage of the easiest hole at Riviera, the Par 5, 1st.

The 2021 U.S. Open winner birdied the first before giving the shot back after bogeying the 3rd. Two more birdies coming near the end of his front nine saw Jon make the turn in 33. Rahm’s lead would soon evaporate on the back nine, however, after a combination of dropped shots by the 28-year-old Spaniard and birdies by Max Homa made things interesting coming down the stretch.

It wasn’t until the Par 3, 14th, that Rahm emphatically regained the lead after draining yet another long-range birdie putt, something he has been known to do from time to time in the biggest moments. 

Following his incredible birdie putt on the 14th, Rahm extended his lead at the top after sticking his approach shot into the Par 3, 16th, inside of three feet from the pin. The birdie chance was quickly converted and Jon Rahm would go on to claim his 10th PGA Tour win from there.

Jon Rahm made history on Sunday at Riviera.

Both the 14th and 16th holes at Riviera played a pivotal role in Jon Rahm’s final round at the 2023 Genesis Invitational.

In fact, Rahm can credit his performance on Riviera’s Par 3s as a big reason why he went on to win this year’s Genesis Invitational.

Jon Rahm’s eight-under-par tally on the Par 3s this week not only played a factor in helping the Spaniard reach the summit of the world rankings once again, but it was also the best score by a player on those holes in Riviera history as Justin Ray highlighted on Sunday. 

Next. The Rundown: 2023 Honda Classic at PGA National. dark

Jon Rahm won at one of golf’s most historic venues, had Tiger Woods hand him the trophy on Sunday, returned to world number one, and made history at Riviera. That’s quite the week for this year’s Genesis Invitational champion.