2016 Pac-12 Men's Golf Championships: Jon Rahm wins Arizona State's first individual title in 16 years
SALT LAKE CITY – Same conditions, same score, different, title-clinching result for Arizona State's Jon Rahm on Sunday in the final round of the 2016 Pac-12 Men's Golf Championships.
The Spanish-born Sun Devil carded his second-straight 3-under-68 and went into the clubhouse tied for the individual title while he waited on 54-hole leader KK Limbhasut of Cal to close out his round.
A little over an hour later, Rahm could breath a sigh of relief as the 2016 Pac-12 individual champion. He became Arizona State's first winner since Paul Casey locked up three-straight titles from 1998-2000.
"To know that you've won is something special. Honestly," Rahm said after play concluded. "I put a lot of hard work in this year, not just to graduate and get my degree, but to play the best golf I could."
Rahm was among the best yet again on another windswept day at The Country Club of Salt Lake. His 3-under score tied him for the lowest round overall Sunday with Arizona's Jordan Gumberg. The Sun Devil's scorecard was nearly identical to the one he turned in Saturday, picking up three strokes on the front nine before breaking even on the back nine.
[Related video: Stanford celebrates third consecutive Pac-12 team title]
Rahm just barely missed an eagle putt on the 18th that would have given him the lead outright, but that proved to be unnecessary.
Limbhasut, the man who was definition of consistency with three rounds of 5-under-66, couldn't match his 54-hole pace. The sophomore turned in a round of 8-over on Sunday, dropping him into a third-place tie on the individual leaderboard with Stanford's David Boote.
Things got off to an inauspicious start for Limbhasut who bogeyed his first two holes of the day. But the six-stroke cushion he'd brought into the final round kept him leading or tied for the lead early on. Then he played the back nine.
Four holes with plus scores after the turn dashed the Golden Bear's title hopes, highlighted by a triple-bogey on the 16th hole involving a shot deemed just inches out of bounds by rules officials. Despite the rough day, Limbhasut still finished with a respectable 7-under-277 for the tournament. He and his Cal teammates, who finished second in the team standings, will have chance to redeem themselves at NCAA Regionals later this month.
As for Rahm, what's next for the No. 1 amateur player in the world? Studying for finals.
"Tuesday I have a final," Rahm said. "So let's get that degree first and then I'll worry about regionals."