TOUR REPORT | Jon Rahm Wins Memorial Tournament & Climbs to World No.1

Tony Starks July 19, 2020
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One of the most consistent players on TOUR, Team TaylorMade's Jon Rahm won the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club with rounds of 69-67-68-75 to win by 3.

His 4th PGA TOUR victory in as many years as a professional was powered by SIM driver, SIM fairways and TP5 ball. Over the course of his career, Rahm has experienced a rapid rise up the OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking). In becoming world No.1, Jon becomes just the second Spanish golfer to reach the No.1 spot with Seve Ballesteros being the only other. At 24 years old, he's the third youngest person to achieve the top spot.

Rahm's OWGR end of year ranking by year is as follows:

  • 2014: 1,548
  • 2015: 585
  • 2016: 137
  • 2017: 6
  • 2018: 4
  • 2019: 3
  • 2020: 1* (* year-to-date)

Jon plays 14 TaylorMade clubs and balls including the SIM driver, two SIM fairways, P•750 irons, MG2 wedges, Spider X and the TP5 ball.

The week prior at the Workday Charity Open, our TOUR team worked extensively with Jon to adjust his iron lofts. In his first few events back following the Tour’s restart, Jon noted that he wasn’t seeing the results he was accustomed to with his iron play, even as his ball striking remained world class. Sitting down to review the analytics, our team realized that Jon developed a tendency to miss long – particularly when coming out of the rough. TrackMan and GC Quad data revealed that Jon’s spin rates were slightly lower than normal, which contributed to the long miss. The change was largely due to the increased strength Jon built during the downtime.

Armed with this info, the choice was made to add loft to each iron by 1° and in some cases 1.5°. While that number may seem small, the results were huge. The weakened lofts added a touch more spin and helps Jon to better to hold the greens – which was much needed on the firm and fast conditions of Muirfield. In addition, Jon was able to dial in precise carry distances and take full advantage of his power.

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A great example is the 184-yard par 3 12th, where a forced carry to a tucked pin with firm greens forced many players to take the scenic route and play left of the hole. Rahm was able to fire an 8-iron directly at the flag and have it stop 9 feet from the pin because of the higher trajectory, spin and distance.

“Following our session and testing the adjusted lofts, Jon had so much confidence in his iron play. He was shaping the ball both ways and controlling the trajectory due to the increase in spin. He was in full control. From what I saw, I expected him to go out and win the Workday. I was just a week off in the prediction.”
Adrian Rietveld, TaylorMade's Senior Tour Manager

Jon called his 4-under-par 68 on moving day “one of the best rounds I’ve played in my life.” After being patient all day and navigating the firm and fast conditions of Muirfield Village, he rattled off four consecutive birdies (13-16) to catapult into the lead and carry a 4-shot margin into Sunday. He never looked back.

In the final round, not even weather delays could extinguish the fiery Spaniard. Coming off the delay, he immediately birded the 5th hole before pushing his lead to 8 shots as he walked off the 8th green. He played surgical point A-to-point B golf on the opening nine before coming down the stretch with a few fireworks, including an improbable hole out on the 16th. Jon would incur a 2-shot penalty following the incidental movement of his ball, but the results would go unchanged.

In claiming his 4th PGA TOUR victory and 10th worldwide, Rahm proved that he’s wired to win.

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NEED TO KNOW

  • This is Rahm's 4th PGA TOUR victory since turning professional in June 2016
  • Rahm moves to world no.1 for the first time in his career
  • Jon switched into TP5 from the TP5X earlier this year for more spin and control with his irons and wedges
  • Rahm weakened the lofts in his irons slightly as he was hitting them further since the break and wanted to better manage his trajectory and descent angle
  • Jon was ranked 1st Tee-to-Green (+16.42), 2nd Approach-to-Green (+9.08) and 3rd Off-the-Tee (+5.086)