WILMINGTON, N.C. – What Jon Rahm said was perhaps his best ball-striking round of the year came down to a chip.
Two strokes off the lead playing the final hole, the Spaniard’s third shot at the par-5 18th from about 40 feet traveled about half that distance.
Still, Rahm, who was 2 under for the day, figured he still had a chance to close on the lead.
“I was saying something good's going to happen on this back nine, it hasn't happened yet,” he said. “After flubbing that first [chip], I thought to myself, this is going in. I just need to put it on the green, it's going to go in for sure, and I think I just willed it in, honestly. My willpower made that ball go in.”
The chip-in birdie to close his round moved Rahm into a share of second place with Alex Noren at 7 under, a stroke behind front-runner Patrick Reed.
Rahm won earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open and finished runner-up to Dustin Johnson in March at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. If he were to win on Sunday, Rahm would become just the third international player, behind Sergio Garcia and Seve Ballesteros, to win twice before they were 23 years old.