In a short amount of time, Jon Rahm has emerged as one of the top golfers in the world. His path to the PGA Tour was particularly short, and exploded onto the scene in 2017 as the next great Spanish player to succeed Sergio Garcia.
With his success late in the season, there’s reason to believe Rahm is one of the favorites to capture next year’s FedEx Cup hardware.
Here’s everything you need to know about the young Spaniard.
It Begins: PGA Tour Card
Rahm was a late addition to the prestigious Arizona State golf team where he fell five victories short of tying Phil Mickelson’s school-record 16 individual wins. The Ben Hogan Award is given to the best college golfer each year, and Rahm won it twice – the first person to ever do that. In April 2015, Rahm became the number one ranked amateur in the world – a title he held for a cumulative total of 60 weeks.
He gained entry into the 2015 U.S. Open, then turned professional at the Quicken Loans National which was a part of the Open Qualifying Series. After a third place showing there, and a runner-up finish at the RBC Heritage Open, Rahm picked up enough points to earn his PGA Tour card.
First Victory and Those That Followed
Is there a better way to win your first PGA Tour than sinking a 60-foot eagle putt on the 18th green?
Jon Rahm did it.
The dramatic win gave Rahm admission into the Masters, The Players, PGA Championship and all WGC tournaments. From February through the midway point of May, he produced top 30 finishes in all six starts, which doesn’t include facing Dustin Johnson in the finals of the WGC Match Play event in late March.
In the FedEx Cup playoffs, Rahm was outstanding. The Spaniard placed top seven in all four events, with only two of his 16 rounds being over 70. As a result, he finished fifth in the final FedEx Cup standings.
Drama On and Off the Course
We don’t know much about Rahm’s personal life, but it’s his on-course behavior which is a bit questionable.
Even in a short stint on the PGA Tour, the 22-year-old has had his share of tantrums. Most notably, at this year’s U.S. Open.
After this, he:
5. Missed a 40 foot par putt
6. Thumped his putter hard on green
7. Tapped in for bogey
8. Punched the sign on 15 tee
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) June 16, 2017
Here’s further evidence:
— Kevin Power (@KevinPower5) June 16, 2017
His composure did improve as the season wore on, but Rahm still has some maturing to do. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Sergio Garcia had similar tendencies, let’s just hope Rahm matures faster than his Spanish counterpart.
Entering the Farmers Insurance Open, Rahm was 137th in the Official World Golf Rankings. Days later, he vaulted to 46th on the list.
Since then, Rahm has gradually risen up the rankings after steady play on both the PGA and European Tours. His debut in the top 10 came following a runner-up finish at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational. He is currently the fifth-best golfer in the world according to OWGR.
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) August 13, 2017
From a statistical standpoint, Rahm is a top-notch ball striker who ranked third in strokes gained tee-to-green in 2016-17. He was also second in strokes gained off the tee, 20th in driving distance, 17th in strokes gained: approach and 13th in scrambling. It’s his putting which crushed him last season on the PGA Tour, ranking 49th overall.
What the Future Holds
Rahm has a bright future ahead of him given his skillset, which is rare for a golfer his age. He’s so strong, so talented and has all the potential in the world. He controls his own destiny.
Rahm has yet to finish top 20 in a major, but that is sure to change in 2016-17. In fact, there’s a good chance he’ll seriously contend for several titles in the upcoming season and beyond. If you don’t know the name Jon Rahm by now, you will.