Red hot Rahm sees rare hat-trick at Torrey Pines

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Jon Rahm aims to join an elite club as he looks for a third straight win at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open in Southern California’s Torrey Pines on Thursday.

The in-form Spaniard has made a flying start to 2023, winning the season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii before claiming The American Express in California last weekend.

A third consecutive tournament victory this week – on a course where he won the 2021 US Open – would make Rahm the first player to win three consecutive starts on the PGA Tour since Dustin Johnson in 2017.

“I’m aware that this is very rare and I appreciate it because at least it’s a humbling sense of how much work you have to put in to be able to do something like this because of the talent you have there,” Rahm said after the Pro -Am of Tuesday.

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“I don’t take it for granted, because who knows how long it will take for one of those (streaks) to come back.”

Only two other golfers have won three consecutive tournaments in the past 15 years: Rory McIlroy in 2014 and Tiger Woods in 2008.

If Rahm needs to join that illustrious company, he will do so on a course that has become a virtual home from home.

In addition to his breakthrough at the US Open in Torrey Pines in 2021, the world number three also won the Farmers in 2017 and finished second at the 2020 tournament by just one shot.

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Since the event moved to Torrey Pines in 1968, only Tiger Woods has had a better batting average, 69.28 from 68 rounds. Rahm’s is a fraction behind with 69.29.

“My swing confidence is pretty high right now, but you still want to work on things and try to get better,” said Rahm.

Rahm, meanwhile, praised the performance of newly retired soccer star Gareth Bale after Tuesday’s Pro-Am.

Former Real Madrid and Wales captain Bale, a notorious golf fanatic, left an impression on Rahm after Tuesday’s round.

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“I said to Gareth, you can’t be so good at professional football and golf at the same time, that just doesn’t seem fair,” said Rahm. “You can’t be dedicated to one thing and have that much talent for golf, that’s not fair at all.”

Rahm added that Bale needed no advice during Tuesday’s nine holes.

“He didn’t ask for anything, and he shouldn’t ask, he’s good enough already,” said Rahm. “As I said, he has no business being as good as a professional footballer.

“Once he’s done and he can actually practice more, he’ll get a lot better.”

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