World number two Jon Rahm battled a par 69 of two under 69s on Sunday to secure a one-shot victory in the US PGA Tour Mexico Open in Vidanta Vallarta.
Rahm kept or shared the lead after each round, but it was far from easy for the Spaniard, who had to recover a par at the final hole of the par-5 to finish with 17-under 267 – a jab ahead of Brandon Wu. , Tony Finau and Kurt Kitayama.
Wu and Finau climbed the ranks with an outstanding eight-under par 63 while Kitayama, playing alongside Rahm in the final round, finished with a 68 to join the group out of 268.
“Pretty stressful weekend to the end,” said Rahm after sealing his seventh PGA Tour title in the US, the first since his first major victory at the US Open in Torrey Pines last year.
After back-to-back birdies in sixth and seventh, Rahm sent 10th on tilt, missing a six-foot putt to save the par.
He missed a 10-foot birdie attempt at par-five 12th and both Wu and Finau were in the clubhouse at 16-under before Rahm drained an 11-foot birdie test to reach 17-under at 14th.
Rahm rapped with a five-foot save-par in 15th and drew in 16th. He looked in control with an 11-foot tee shot at par-3 17, but his birdie attempt failed.
And he was in a dense rough on a steep bank above a fairway bunker at 18th, where he eventually made two putts from the sidelines at 23 feet from the cup to seal the win.
“I didn’t think having a par-five where a fading tee shot was required would put me so much stress,” said Rahm. “But in the end I did and I think all the stress at the start of the round helped me in those last two putts.”
Rahm acknowledged that compared to the first two rounds his game over the weekend “wasn’t great”.
“But I remained aggressive,” he said. “I had faith in every part of my game and it showed.”
Wu, 25, scored his best lap of his career with an effort of eight less that included an eagle and six birds.
“I played great today,” said Wu, who collected four shots in three holes with a nine-foot bird in the fifth, a 14-foot eagle in the sixth and a bird in the seventh, where he led the green and two. -put in order.
He added birdies at 10th, 13th, 14th and 16th to take a lead over 16-under, even though he couldn’t take advantage of the par-five 18th.
Wu was barely in the clubhouse when Finau threw a six-foot birdie in 18th to join him in 16-under with a 63 of his own.
Finau threw a 56-foot eagle putt from the green on the 14th to highlight a round that also included six birdies.
Finau said some post-Masters adjustments have paid off in his iron game.
“I hit so many greens, I gave myself so many looks, I knew if I could just throw some maybe I could throw something today and I was able to do it,” he said.
Kitayama was tied first at 16-under after his fourth birdie of the day in 12th. He bogeyed in the 14th, but gained a second share with a birdie at the last, where he too was struggling with the tee.
“I’m really thrilled,” said Kitayama, a two-time winner of the DP World Tour. “(It was a) tough fight out there, so I’m really happy where I ended up.”