Jon Rahm flirted with his first ever 59 on the PGA Tour as he roared to within two of Tony Finau at the Mexico Open at Vidanta.
The Spaniard shot a course record 61 as he soared to seventeen-under-par alongside Akshay Bhatia while Finau shot a third round 65 to climb to nineteen-under.
The World Number One was flawless on Saturday, carding ten birdies including six in a front nine of 29. Birdies on 12, 13 and 14 left him needing three more to shoot the first sub 60 round of the season but he could only birdie the par-3 17th.
“It was a great round,” said Rahm who is looking to defend his title. “The swings didn’t feel that different today to the first two days. I think I mentioned in a couple interviews that the first two rounds, a couple of the not-so-good swings cost me a little bit too much, right? Either I hit it in a hazard or put myself in a spot where making par was difficult and that’s why I was a little bit out of pace. Today, everything just seemed perfect, right? Made a lot of great swings and the ones that weren’t great, still gave myself a good result.”
The Masters champion passed up good chances on 15 and then on 16 which is a putt he wishes he could have back.
“But that’s golf, you don’t make them all,” Rahm said.
Rahm needed just 25 putts in round three and he hit 17 greens in regulation in a ball striking masterclass.
“I think that’s the difference usually in a course like this. You can see a lot of 6, 7-under pars, but to get to (10 under) you’re going to have to make a few lengthy ones, and combined with really good ball-striking, great round. Really happy with what I did and just glad I gave myself a chance for tomorrow,” Rahm said.
This is the third time Rahm has shot a 61 and they have all come on moving day.
A heavyweight battle is set for Sunday with Finau set to lock horns with Rahm as he chases his sixth PGA Tour win.
The American was keeping an eye on leaderboards throughout round three and he was well aware of Rahm’s charge.
“I think it definitely got my juices going a little bit and was able to make a few birdies coming in to stay in front of him,” Finau said. “It was something I expected going into today, he’s an amazing golfer.
“They’re playing some good golf, all playing some good golf, so it will be a fun one. Tomorrow there will be a crowned champion and the three of us will be vying for it.”
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