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Jon Rahm delights fans once again as he wins the Open de España

Rahm with RFEG president Gonzaga Escauriaza and the Minister of Sport, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo.
Rahm with RFEG president Gonzaga Escauriaza and the Minister of Sport, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo. / RFEG
  • The world number four lived up to his reputation as firm favourite at this tournament on the European Tour

In April Spanish golfer Jon Rahm, number four in the world, won the Open de España, part of the European Tour, which took place at the National Golf Centre in Madrid. With a total card of 268 strokes, 20 under par, the young player won his fifth title since becoming professional in 2016. In addition to his success at the Farmers Insurance Open (2017) and Career Builder Challenge (2018) on the PGA Tour, and the DP World Tour Championship of Dubai (2017) and the Irish Open (2017), on the European Tour, Rahm has added the title of the Open de España champion. This was a great way to close his circle of wins in his own country since he become champion of Spain in the cadet category (2009), junior (2010 and 2012), under-18 (2010 y 2012) and senior (2014 and 2015). Rahm then returned to Madrid to complete part of his training as a golfer before setting off for Arizona, USA.

At the press conference after his win, Rahm showed off the trophy which accredited his victory after an exciting recovery on the final day. He started at a disadvantage of one and two shots respectively to fellow Spanish player Nacho Elvira and Irishman Paul Dunne, but in the last 18 holes he had no rivals. He presented a final card of 67 strokes, five under par, for a total of -20. Six birdies, at holes 1, 2, 7, 10, 13 and 18, enabled him to push Paul Dunne (270) and Nacho Elvira (271) into second and third place.

Four days previously, Jon Rahm had predicted that he would have to achieve -20 to be the winner. That result made him the sixth Spaniard to win the Open de España after Antonio Garrido (1972), Severiano Ballesteros (1981, 1985 and 1995), Sergio García (2002), Álvaro Quirós (2010) and Miguel Ángel Jiménez (2014). One of the curiosities of this sport: Jon Rahm’s victory occurred on the same day, 15 April, as that of Garrido in 1972, when he became the first Spanish player on the European Tour to win the Open de España at the Pals Golf Club. That was the first tournament to be held in Spain within the structure of the European Tour.

Rahm reached the 18th hole, surrounded by the public, where he achieved his famous birdie. The crowd went mad, and there was lengthy applause to mark the final point of an absolutely magical Spanish Open 2018.

Rahm was the indisputable hero of the tournament, but special mention should also be given to amateur Víctor Pastor, who finished with a praiseworthy 67 (-5) and a total of -13.