Rahm, an amateur from nearby Arizona State, played this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open on a sponsor exemption. After rounds of 66 and 68 over the weekend, he left TPC Scottsdale with a T-5 finish. The result is the best by an amateur on the PGA Tour since Chris Wood finished T-5 at the 2008 Open Championship.
“It means a lot,” Rahm said. “It means that I proved to myself that I can be out here. I can be here and compete with the best and, you know, try to be the best.”
Rahm received plenty of support from the Sun Devil faithful all week long, and the Spaniard again donned an ASU football jersey before walking out of the tunnel at the par-3 16th, a move that received plenty of cheers.
“(No.) 16 is absolutely incredible. Lifetime experience,” he said. “I would say it’s like being a gladiator. Get in there and go through the door, see so many people, it’s amazing. It’s an indescribable feeling.”
Rahm leaves TPC Scottsdale with plenty of memories, but his result is bittersweet on two fronts. First, because he is still an amateur he will not collect a paycheck – which in this case would have been worth $239,400. Also because he is an amateur, Rahm will not receive a spot in next week’s Farmers Insurance Open based on his top-10 finish.
Instead, the 20-year-old will join his ASU teammates at a college event in Hawaii, and the junior reiterated that he plans to wait to turn pro.
“My mom and dad really made me realize that, and so far, unless something really special happens, I will turn pro after college.”