Jon Rahm continued his impressive run of form by racing out of the blocks at The American Express on the PGA Tour.
The Spanish World No. 4 is searching for his fourth win in his last seven worldwide starts.
Rahm began 2023 with a bang by claiming the "elevated" Tournament of Champions in Hawaii off the back of winning the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
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The 2021 U.S. Open Champion – who believes the decision has already been made to ban LIV Golf players from the Ryder Cup – carded an opening round of 8-under 64 at La Quinta.
Rahm has fond memories here, having tasted victory in a playoff over America's Andrew Landry in 2018.
You might recall it was here that during last year's event Rahm hit the headlines when he was filmed ranting about the state of the course, claiming that it was a "piece of s*** set-up putting contest week."
Speaking to the media this week about that, Rahm said:
Rahm made five birdies on his front nine and dropped a shot at No. 10 when he rammed a short par putt through the break. Four more birdies followed which saw him into the clubhouse only two strokes off the early leader Davis Thompson at 10-under.
Who will win The American Express on the PGA Tour?— GolfMagic (@GolfMagic) January 18, 2023
Sam Burns (64) and Xander Schauffele (65) also began well. Schauffele previously had to withdraw from the Tournament of Champions owing to a back injury.
He said it was age related and joked that he should have stayed fat having spent so much time taking extra care of his body and nutrition.
The American Express carries a prize purse of $8m, with the winner receiving a cheque for $1.4m.
What did Rahm say about the Ryder Cup?
Rahm backed the LIV Golf players to participate in the biennial event in his pre-tournament press conference at The American Express.
He told the media:
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