Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm are the winners of Zurich Classic this year. The two players had no previous contact, but fate brought them together. For one to play in New Orleans Zurich Classic, one has to find a teammate. Ryan Palmer’s past Zurich Classic teammate Jordan Spieth was taking an off break. Palmer also knew Jon Rahm teammate Wesley Bryan could not participate because of shoulder surgery. So Palmer thought it better to reach out to the 24-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm.
The two teammates, Ryan Palmer 42 and Jon Rahm 24, merged for a 3 under 69 in the alternate shot final round to win them the tour by three strokes over Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood.
Palmer recalls sending Rahm a text, and he wondered whether he would reject his request. The week was excellent for them.
Palmer had won three other tours, and this was his fourth victory. This was, however, the first victory in almost a decade the last one being at Sony Open in Hawaii 2010. Palmer said that it was nice playing the last hole with a three-shot lead.
For Rahm, this was his third PGA Tour Victory. He has won one in each of the first seasons. It was also his seventh time to be in the top ten. Rahm said that when Wesley told him that he had a shoulder injury a few months before the event, he felt he was in no man land. He added that he is delighted of Palmer’s proposal to team up.
Due to heavy rain, the scheduled starting time was delayed for more than seven hours. This caused players to play more than 18 holes to get the event back to schedule. Rahm-Palmer managed 26 under 262 at the TPC Louisiana. On the top ladder were Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax. With just two stroke and two holes, Rahm and Palmer took the lead. This is after Stallings Mullinax bogeyed the first hole and the two maintained the edge to the end. Closely following behind them were Garcia and Fleetwood.
Kyoung-Hoon Lee and Matt Every, Brian Gay-Sabbatini tied in 3rd and five shot behind. Four teams also tied for fifth at 20 under and four others for ninth at 19 under. While defending champions Bily Horschel and Scott Piercy were among the teams with 18 under.
Both winners walked away with $1.05 million. According to Palmer, the three days of sunshine made the green more brittle. Many players tried to re-adjust on Sunday whereby they rolled the putts past the hole.
Rahm believes what kept them going was the par putts which Ryan made. According to him, it is always slower to play in the greens that have been wet for three days. But they needed to fasten and do what was necessary.
The couple did not misfire often, but whenever that happened, the other one corrected it by responding well. Rahm moral was restored when Palmer made a 195-yard shot that landed on the greens and sank a 6-foot putt two shot later for par. He also made a 71-yard chip off the flag on 13.
Palmer said that it was fun to play with a guy who can hit the ball the way Rahm did, playing the short game. He learned a lot by watching him.
Stallings Mullinax falls to the ninth after they bogeyed 11 and 13 double bogeyed 16 after Mullinax shot into the water. They finished 5 over 77and tied on the 13th.