José Félix Cachorro
Monday, 2 October 2023, 08:09
With a series of unforgettable shots throughout the tournament and his memorable final-day tie with Scottie Scheffler, Spanish golfer Jon Rahm played a key role in Europe's 16.5-11.5 Ryder Cup victory over the USA in Rome on Sunday.
As the final-day singles matches began at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rahm executed a remarkable putt on the last to clinch a vital half-point for Team Europe in his topsy-turvy one-on-one battle against the world's top-ranked player.
This maintained Europe's five-point lead with eleven individual matches left, serving as a psychological blow for the United States who had been hoping regain ground early on. As a savvy strategist, captain Luke Donald had positioned his strongest players in the early matches to widen the gap - and this paid off.
Subsequently, Viktor Hovland from Norway defeated Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland triumphed over Sam Burns, and Englishman Terryl Hatton dispatched Brian Harman on the 16th hole.
Then, when the UK's Tommy Fleetwood defeated Rickie Fowler, this led to an explosion of joy as Europe regained the famous cup.
Rahm finished the Ryder Cup in Rome undefeated, with two wins and two ties, earning three out of four possible points. McIlroy and Hovland, the other pillars of the European team, contributed four out of five points.
But, above all, the Spaniard upped his game and showed up when it really mattered. For example, when playing alongside Danish player Nicolai Hojgaard in the Friday fourballs, his eagles on the 16th and 18th holes helped to seal a tie against Scheffler and Brooks Koepka.
Likewise, his magical chips in the Friday foursomes were key to the 4&3 win against Scheffler and Sam Burns with Tyrrell Hatton.
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