Why Jon Rahm credits himself with more PGA Tour titles than he has technically won

Jon Rahm is seeking his 12th career win at this week's Mexico Open at Vidanta. But according to him, he's already reached that number.

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Jon Rahm got off to a good start in his attempt to defend his Mexico Open at Vidanta title on Thursday, firing an opening round of four-under 67, putting him right in the mix near the top of the leaderboard as the afternoon wave prepared to tee off.

A win this week would mark the 12th of his PGA Tour career and the fifth of 2023, and it would be only the second time Rahm has ever managed to defend a title. (Rahm’s first successful title defense was at the 2019 Open de Espana.)

When it comes to Rahm’s career-win tally, though, Rahm confessed on Wednesday that he already believes he has 12 wins on his resume.

“Technically I shot the lower score at the [2021] Tour Championship, which I still count as a win,” he said.

Rahm was alluding to the fact that the current FedEx Cup Playoffs format results in the tournament’s top seeds getting a head start on the field in terms of scoring, so even though both Rahm and Kevin Na fired the lowest scores at East Lake that year (four-round totals of 266 strokes), they finished second and third, respectively, to Patrick Cantlay, who was the No. 1 seed and got to start the tournament at 10 under par. (Rahm started at six under as the fourth seed, and Na started at two under as the 16th seed.) Cantlay edged Rahm for the FedEx Cup title by one shot.

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Given Rahm’s liberal definition of wins, it’s hard not to wonder if he also counts the 2021 Memorial Tournament, where he was forced to WD after a positive Covid test after leading the tournament by six shots through 54 holes.

But regardless of where he stands with his personal-wins tally, it’s clear that Rahm is currently playing some of the best golf of his career. So good, in fact, that Rahm said he was forced to reassess his goals for the year — in February!

“One of my goals for earlier in the year, I mentioned it a couple times, was to win multiple times again on the PGA Tour and I won my first two events,” he said. “After [the Genesis Invitational] I kind of had to — you kind of need to reset because I was getting close to accomplishing everything I had set my mind to.

“I like being able to — if you have to reset or refresh your goals, it’s an amazing thing because that means you’re exceeding your expectations,” he continued. “So I did have a day with my mental coach where we talked about things and reassessed and refocused on what we wanted to accomplish in the year. Yeah, I had to do it, which again, it’s a wonderful thing to do.”

Prior to this year’s hot streak, Rahm’s best PGA Tour season was in 2019-2020, when he claimed two Tour titles. With four titles currently under his belt and months left to play this season, Rahm is already halfway to the rarefied air of an eight-win season, which has only been accomplished by a handful of historic greats, Tiger Woods being the most recent in 2006.

The next record Rahm will be looking to match is the last player to have a five-win season on the PGA Tour. That was Justin Thomas, in 2017.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.