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Jon Rahm survives playoff with Andrew Landry to win CareerBuilder Challenge

Jon Rahm survives playoff with Andrew Landry to win CareerBuilder Challenge

What a difference just 365 days can make. Rahm's second-career PGA Tour win didn't just earn him $1,062,000, it also vaulted him into the best world ranking of his career.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

"To think of being No. 2 in the world, it's hard to believe", Rahm said.

He couldn't maintain that pace, and after a third-round 70 was two strokes behind rookie Austin Cook heading into the final round.

Rahm missed a chance to win on the first extra trip down the 18th when his 9-foot birdie try slid left, and on the second, Landry's 8-footer to end it went by to the right.

But Sunday on the Stadium, Rahm went uncharacteristically cold on the par 5s, carding four disappointing pars.

Rahm overcame surprising par-5 problems in regulation to shoot a five-under 67. I've also shot 10 under there, amusing enough, and it's just really familiar to what I'm used to playing.

The 23-year-old Spaniard won the CareerBuilder Challenge on Sunday, outlasting Andrew Landry in a four-hole playoff.

Rahm birdied the par-4 18th hole, the fourth of the playoff, to seal the win. The first six combined attempts at a winning birdie missed, then Rahm, who once lost a 10-hole playoff as an amateur in Spain, finally converted after a clutch approach shot from the right rough, just before the sun set behind the Santa Rosa mountains. "It's again - I've said it many times - I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now".

"Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing".

Rahm fired a bogey-free 67 on Sunday to get to 22 under, a total matched by American Landry who had a single blemish in his closing 68, birdieing the last to force the play-off.

Rory McIlroy, playing for the first time in more than three months, began the final round one shot out of the lead but could only manage a 70 and tied for third with Matt Fitzpatrick.

John Huh, Adam Hadwin and Martin Piller tied for third at 20 under. Jason Kokrak made a run but closed with a bogey-double. "That's a three-time major champion". Razorbacks head coach Brad McMakin called Landry "the toughest guy I've ever been around".

"This was a weird pin location", Landry said. "So second place finish, we'll take it and move on next week".

Jon Rahm headed over the hill to San Diego for his Torrey Pines title defense with a playoff victory in the CareerBuilder Challenge and the No. 2 spot in the world ranking.

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