On Sunday afternoon, The American Express concluded with Jon Rahm winning for the second time in three weeks in a one-shot victory over 23-year-old PGA Tour rookie Davis Thompson.
Rahm, who shot 27-under for the tournament, had to overtake Thompson on Saturday as the 23-year-old notched five eagles over the first two days.
Both Thompson and Rahm were going back and forth as the final round progressed, and through 69 holes, both players were tied at -26.
However, on the par-5 16th hole, Rahm took the edge off the tee, landing on the fairway, compared to Thompson landing in the left fairway bunker. The Spaniard, who recorded his ninth PGA Tour victory, would go on to birdie that hole as Thompson would par the final par-5 of the tournament.
Rahm led the field in greens in regulation with a clip of 84.9%. His approach shots, both in his iron and his wedge game around the green, were key, and his putting was a vital aspect to his victory.
“I did talk about how good my putting had been and today, it didn’t feel anything different. I made the ones I really needed to make like in on 14 and 16. Not going to lie, I thought the putts on 17 and 18 were in as well, luckily it was enough.”Jon Rahm commenting on win at The American Express
Below Rahm and Thompson on the scoreboard, Chris Kirk and Xander Schauffele tied for third at 25-under par. Schauffele was one of two players to record the best round on Sunday with a 10-under 62, going bogey-free.
Rounding out the top 5 was Taylor Montgomery, who finished at 24-under par this week inside the Stadium Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
With five of the top seven players in the world competing this week, here are this week’s power rankings for the top 10 PGA Tour players.
10. Davis Thompson
Davis Thompson entered his 20th PGA Tour start this week, looking to take the next step of his young career after a subpar tie for 54th finish last week at the Sony open. He came one stroke short of a victory as he had the 36-hole lead with his five eagles to lead the way before the weekend.
“The biggest takeaway for me was being paired with Jon Rahm today,” Thompson said after shooting 26-under 262 on Sunday. “That’s the kind of thing that will really make me into a better player.”
This is similar to what Will Zalatoris faced last season, coming up short multiple times for runner-up results. Thompson will do his best to take the momentum this week into his next tournaments.
9. Taylor Montgomery
If Thompson continues to play the way he did this, he is going to make it a race for the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year with the early-season favorite, Taylor Montgomery. This week, Montgomery shot a 6-under 66 in the final round to finish at 24-under par.
Despite having nine birdies in Sunday’s final round, Montgomery was hurt by the par-3s on Sunday. Montgomery recorded six birdies on the front nine but had a bogey on the par-3 6th hole to set him back. Then on the back nine, Thompson landed short right on the par-3 17th hole with the island green, surrounded by water, which resulted in a double bogey that hurt his chances to contend.
This is Montgomery’s second top-5 finish this season as he recorded all four rounds in the 60s, highlighted by his opening round, 8-under 64.
8. Max Homa
Max Homa continues to rest ahead of the heart of the PGA Tour schedule. Homa, who already has a win under his belt this season, has committed to next week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, which will kick off on Wednesday with first-round action instead of Thursday.
7. Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele, who made his return to action after his first career PGA Tour withdrawal a couple weeks ago, seemed like he did not miss a beat.
Schauffele opened his tournament with a 7-under 65 on Thursday, followed by a couple of 68s before the final round.
The 29-year-old started to find his momentum from the par-5 fifth hole when he made the shot of the tournament. After Schauffele landed his tee shot in the right fairway, he was 226 yards away from the hole with the shot over water and a back right hole location.
That was no match for Schauffele as he was able to land the ball onto the green and watched it roll into the cup for the first albatross in Stadium Course tournament history.
With a low-scoring Sunday, Schauffele is going to take the momentum as he gears up to play in his hometown for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
6. Collin Morikawa
Like Homa, Collin Morikawa is taking advantage of the schedule to rest up before the flurry of events come.
Morikawa, who is one of 20 players to appear in the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program (PIP), is slated to competed next week in America’s Finest City for the Farmers Insurance Open after resting the past few weeks since his second-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
5. Patrick Cantlay
Patrick Cantlay had a solid tournament but was stalled by a 1-under 71 on Saturday. Overall, Cantlay shot 18-under 270 as he continues to find his rhythm ahead of some of the tournaments down the road.
Cantlay was unable to take strokes off the board as he totaled just 14 birdies to go with 37 pars. That will not win a lot of tournaments, especially when the top of the leaderboard is in the mid- to upper 20s in birdies this week.
The UCLA alum, who ranks No. 4 in the World, needs to ride his momentum from his 7-under 65 to have a strong start next time out.
4. Tony Finau
Shooting 20-under par or better most of the time grants you at least a top-10 finish. Not this week as Tony Finau was one of 11 players to record -20 and not finish as one of best 10 scores.
Finau, who scored a 21-under 267, finished tied for 16th as he recorded all four rounds in the 60s, including his third round 65.
The 33-year-old, who won the Cadence Bank Houston Open in the fall, will look to take his momentum into the next PGA Tour event of the West Coast Swing.
3. Rory McIlroy
Like Morikawa and Homa, McIlroy continues to get his rest. McIlroy is set to compete on the DP World Tour next week for the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates.
With the reigning FedEx Cup winner falling into the PIP rankings, McIlroy’s next appearance will most likely be in Arizona for the WM Phoenix Open in a few weeks.
Even despite the rest, McIlroy, who ranks in the top spot of the world rankings, remains one of the best players on the PGA Tour heading into the heart of the schedule.
2. Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler had himself a great tournament but not enough to reach the likes of Rahm, Thompson and Schauffele.
Scheffler, who finished tied for 11th at 22-under 266, was bit by the par score, like Cantlay. Despite being part of a handful players to have two or less bogeys for the entire tournament, Scheffler recorded 40 pars, which was the third most among the field and only trailed Jason Day and Davis Riley, who had 41 pars each.
The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year will look to finding a rhythm ahead when his set of four title defenses begins in a few weeks.
1. The American Express Champion: Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm, 28, continues to deliver when he needs to the most. Rahm won for the second consecutive start, the second time in the last three weeks and the fourth time in his last six official starts.
Rahm started well, going 64-64 to kick off his tournament and was trailing by two shots over Thompson. But, Rahm would finish two shots better than Thompson on Saturday and the two were tied heading into Sunday.
Overall, Rahm finished 27-under 261 and won his second American Express title in five years. In addition, Rahm received 500 FedEx Cup points and vaulted into the top spot in the standings.