At first glance the pairing seemed off: the fiery 24-year old top-ranked superstar from Spain, alongside the 42-year old laid back Texan, who hadn’t won in nearly 10 years.
Yet, as the sun was setting on TPC Louisiana, it was Jon Rahm, the young Spaniard, and Ryan Palmer, the veteran from Amarillo, Texas, who were standing (and hugging) in the winner’s circle, as champions of the 2019 Zurich Classic.
“To share a win with a partner you’ve been playing with, it’s both of our score, and know that we both played our best this week to be able to get it done, it’s something special,” said Rahm.
“To win as a team, it’s something you don’t get to feel very often in golf. I hope it happens again.”
Rahm and Palmer arrived for Sunday’s finale holding a share of the lead with Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax, but following first-hole bogey by the latter, they took the solo lead and never relinquished it.
The winning duo offset a lone bogey with four birdies en route to a 69 to reach 26-under par, three strokes clear of Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood, who carded a 68 in the alternate shot format.
Two further back was the team of Kyoung-Hoon Lee and Matt Every, who rode a birdie-eagle start to a final-round 68, jumping up 13 spots to T3 at 21-under par, alongside first-day leaders Rory Sabbatini and Brian Gay (71).
Five more teams were tied for fifth at 20-under par, including Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown, who carded a 68 to secure their second top-5 finish in three starts at the Zurich.
Final Top-5 Leaders
Pos-Team-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Rahm / Palmer -26 (-3)
2. Garcia / Fleetwood -23 (-4)
3. Lee / Every -21 (-4)
3. Gay / Sabbatini -21 (-1)
5. Power / Hearn -20 (-4)
5. Castro/ Tringale -20 (-4)
5. Kisner / Brown -20 (-3)
5. Lebioda / Luck -20 (-1)
“You know, what it means, I don’t want to speak to — we weren’t even a team. We played together last year when I was playing with Jordan and he was playing with Wesley, and I knew Jordan wasn’t going to play this year, and with Wesley going through the shoulder surgery, both no partners, so James and I talked about it way back in January.
“I really wanted to come here. I wouldn’t miss coming here each and every year, and we kind of talked about partners, and Jon was one of the top ones if not the top choice for both of us. We know Adam since day one we’ve been on TOUR, good friends with Adam for a long time. It was an easy decision. I shot him a text hoping he would bite. When a 42-year-old player is calling him, he’s probably like, why does he want to play with me.
But he accepted, and what an awesome week. Our games complement each other so much, the way we drive the ball, our iron play, and there’s nothing better than missing greens knowing his short game is behind me. What a week.”
– Ryan Palmer, Zurich Classic Co-Champion