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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 226
On Sunday, Rahm even had the red shirt going as he pulled clear of Charles Howell III and CT Pan to shoot 65 and win by three. Perhaps as impressive as the victory itself was the fact that it came while Rahm was staring down as many as nine other players late in the day who were all in contention for victory. To roll in that putt at 18 (his second eagle in a back nine of 30) was the mark of someone special, and a sign that there are significant challenges coming the way of the game’s established top order. It speaks volumes that Phil Mickelson’s brother Tim quit a plum college coaching job (having guided Rahm through his college program) to become Rahm’s manager last year. The man clearly knew something, and after watching Rahm rise from 522nd in the world at this exact tournament 12 months ago to 137th last week and now inside the top 50, well, that decision has been vindicated tenfold. As Phil himself noted, time had not yet caught up with Rahm’s true standing in the world game. Having turned pro in the back half of last year, he was a top 20 player disguised as a tournament stocking filler; outwardly just making up the numbers but already noted by those in the know as a future champion. “I think he’s more than just a good player,” Mickelson said after Rahm surged clear on Sunday. “I think he’s one of the top players in the world. I think there’s an intangible that some guys have where they want to have the pressure, they want to be in that tough position, they want to have everything fall on their shoulders. And he has that.” Professional sport is like this sometimes. Only 18 months ago we were wondering how anyone would ever beat Jordan Spieth again. In the couple of years preceding that, it was Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy who appeared to have the game at his disposal.
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