LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Jon Rahm is relishing the challenge of a strong field as he attempts to win his second title of the year at this week’s PGA Tour American Express tournament.
The Spanish star tees off in the southern California desert city of La Quinta yesterday fresh from a superb victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii two weeks ago.
World number four Rahm is now back in California aiming to recapture a title he won in 2018.
A second victory of 2023 is far from certain, however, with the 2021 US Open champion part of a field that includes five of the world’s top seven players.
Joining Rahm in La Quinta are world number two and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, world number five Patrick Cantlay, sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele and world number seven Will Zalatoris.
The field also includes last weekend’s Sony Open champion Kim Si-woo, who is also chasing a second win of the calendar year at a tournament he won in 2021.
It all adds up to what is likely to be a stern test for Rahm – but the 28-year-old Spaniard said on Wednesday he is more than ready for the challenge. “You want to beat the best.
And I’m glad people are coming,” Rahm said of the stacked field for the tournament long known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic.
Rahm believes more players opted to play in La Quinta due to the PGA Tour’s more lucrative Player Impact Program – the bonus pool of prize money offered to the tour’s best performers.
“It’s good that more players are trying more events,” Rahm said.