As each day passed, ASU junior Jon Rahm continued to shine at a time when others in his position could have easily faltered.
Rahm, the only amateur in the 132-player field, finished tied for fifth overall (12-under) in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, after shooting 70-68-66-68 in his four rounds.
The pressure that came with being among the leaders on the PGA Tour event was exhilarating. Rahm had the crowd support behind him – he’s an amateur, plays for the local college golf team and even wore a customized ‘Rahmbo’ No. 42 jersey while competing on the wildest hole on tour – TPC’s No. 16.
“Well, the first day I don’t think my heart has ever beaten that fast,” Rahm said. “I honestly thought I was going to pass out right on the tee.”
Through the first nine holes on Sunday, Rahm was 1-over, but he turned it around like he did the previous two days. Rahm birdied four holes on the back nine, and also had a sand save for par on hole No. 14.
“I just stopped thinking,” Rahm said. “I was thinking a lot on my irons, they were really tense. I could not focus and see the break right because I was really nervous at the beginning.”
Rahm got momentum going when he made an eagle on hole No. 17 on Thursday. Rahm had bogeyed No. 14 and double-bogeyed No. 15. He would then birdie hole Nos. 1-3 in the first round (started on back nine). He was 3-under in the second round, and 5-under in the third, which had him tied for fifth entering the final day.
Rahm is the fifth player from ASU to compete in the Phoenix Open while still playing for the college team. Two of the other four were cut, and none finished in the Top 25 of the event.
As for Rahm's pro prospects, he said he would wait until after college to turn professional.
“My idea was to turn pro after college,” Rahm said. "My mom and dad really made me realize that, and so far, unless something really special happens, I will turn pro after college.”
Up next for Rahm is the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii, where he said he'll be on a flight at 11:30 on Monday. The tournament begins Thursday.