An opening round of 62 at La Quinta Country Club, one of three venues for this week’s event, has the 23 year old one ahead of Americans Jason Kokrak, Andrew Landry and Austin Cook.
Six of the leading eight scores on day one came at the La Quinta Country Club but when Rahm holed a 7 footer for his final of eight birdies for the day to go with the eagle from 7 feet at the 5th he had completed his best round on the PGA Tour.
Having finished runner-up in Hawaii two weeks ago which came on top of his win in Dubai in November, Rahm is in outstanding form and a victory this week would likely take him past Jordan Spieth into second position in the world ranking.
“It’s all thanks to the start I had”, said Rahm when describing his round. “I was six under through seven holes with a couple of missed putts so when you have that going for you, thoughts start coming into your head about 59.
“Maybe I relaxed a little too much and missed a couple of poor iron shots but I am just thankful to finish the way I did.”
Greg Chalmers was the best of the Australasian contingent, opening with a round of 4 under 68 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course to be in 42nd position.
Matt Jones recorded a round of 69 at La Quinta to be tied for 64th, Danny Lee is 88th, Geoff Ogilvy and Cameron Percy 125th and Rod Pampling 153rd.
PLAYERS HAVE THEIR SAY ON WHAT MAKES A GOOD GOLF COURSE:
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.