Jon Rahm feels his personal development during 2018 means he is ready for the weekend at the Hero World Challenge.
The Spaniard opened in the Bahamas with a 71 but fired a flawless nine-birdie 63 on Friday to move to 10-under, and is joined in the lead by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.
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Stenson backed up his opening 68 by carding a second round 66 and will partner Rahm on Saturday, with Dustin Johnson and overnight leader Patrick Cantlay their nearest challengers, one-shot off the lead in Albany.
Elsewhere, Tiger Woods found himself involved in some controversy after not receiving a shot penalty, despite appearing to have performed a double hit while chipping from the bushes on the final hole.
Woods is eight off the lead and has his work cut out to catch the leaders, especially Rahm, who at 24, has had a massive year on and off the course.
Not only did he make his Ryder Cup debut in Europe’s win at Le Golf National, he finished fourth at both The Masters and the US PGA Championship, while he also got engaged.
The Basque feels the way he has matured over the last 12 months has given him extra confidence to win, especially at a venue so well suited to his game.
“This year was a big year of personal growth more than my golf game,” Rahm said. “I was actually quite surprised on how well I played compared to what I had going on in my personal life … like I said, personal growth.
“The best way to describe it, having five par 5s and two relatively short par 4s – out of those seven holes, I got six birdies. So I capitalized on the easier holes today … Didn’t seem like much could go wrong.”