LOS ANGELES – Jon Rahm found himself in an unusual position Friday, scrambling to make the cut.
After another frustrating day at the Genesis Invitational, Rahm was on the cut line, even par for the tournament, when he put his drive into the right rough at Riviera’s par-4 finisher. Blocked out by the eucalyptus trees, he carved his approach around the branches and onto the left fringe, 22 feet from the flag. But putting through the sticky grass, his putt expired well short of the hole.
All of a sudden, there was drama: He needed that slippery 6-footer to play the weekend and avoid his second missed cut of the young Tour season – which would have been more than he had during the entire 2020-21 campaign.
Rahm’s par putt toppled over the front edge of the cup, his second-round 73 affording him two more rounds. After signing his card, he headed straight to the range, for some cleanup work. He ranked 25th in the field in strokes gained: tee to green but was a dreadful 110th both in putting and around the greens.
Full-field scores from The Genesis Invitational
Rahm’s gritty par save at the last also may have significant implications over the next 36 holes.
Despite a steady diet of good finishes over the past several months, Rahm could surrender his No. 1 ranking to Collin Morikawa at Riviera. If Morikawa (currently in sixth place, eight shots back) wins the Genesis and Rahm finishes worse than solo fourth place, there’ll be a change at the top. Rahm has held the No. 1 ranking since last July.
A similar scenario is in place this week with world No. 3 Patrick Cantlay, but that’s highly unlikely – Cantlay, too, made the cut on the number, putting him 16 shots off the lead.