Los Angeles Times
Rahm enjoys ‘amazing’ start
Jon Rahm started his round strong and ended it even better Thursday, closing eagle-birdie-birdie for a seven-under 65 and a twoshot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Not even the brute test of Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla., was a match for golf’s hottest player.
“Amazing round of golf,” he said. “I wish all of them were as enjoyable as this one.”
That doesn’t mean it was perfection by any means. Rahm, playing in the afternoon when the greens became a bit more crusty, opened with three straight birdies. He held steady the rest of the way until his big burst at the end allowed him to zoom past Honda Classic winner Chris Kirk, Cameron Young and Kurt Kitayama.
He hit only eight fairways. He twice was blocked by trees, one time escaping with par with a 30-foot putt on the 15th hole.
But oh, that finish. Rahm hit five-iron to 25 feet on the fringe at the parfive 16th and holed it for eagle. On the par-three 17th, he hammered a seven-iron that cleared the bunker and landed in just the right spot to roll out to two feet. And on the closing hole, he hit a soft nine-iron to a front pin that settled about six feet away.
Rookie Young atop Puerto Rico field
Carson Young gave his rookie season on the PGA Tour quite a spark when he made three eagles on his way to a nine-under 63, giving him a three-shot lead after the opening round of the Puerto Rico Open.
Young had a three-shot lead over Max McGreevy and Akshay Bhatia, the 21year-old who regularly plays on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Young has made just three cuts in 12 starts, most recently Sunday in the Honda Classic.
Szokol has LPGA lead in Singapore
Elizabeth Szokol shot an eight-under-64 for a threestroke lead after the first round of the Women’s World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. The 28-year-old American was three shots ahead of Yuka Saso and four clear of a pack of six others.