Sam Torrance: Gunslinger Jon Rahm follows in his hero Seve's footsteps, while Ian Poulter gets a well-earned break at last

Sam Torrance
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Open de Espana - Day Four
Rahm, 23, has now won five titles in less than two years as a professional (Source: Getty)

It may not carry the prestige of a Major but, as a young golf fan growing up, the first tournament that you dream about winning is your home one.

For Jon Rahm, that would have meant watching his heroes such as Seve Ballesteros triumph at the Spanish Open and hoping that one day he could emulate them.

And on Sunday Rahm did just that; the powerful young Spaniard shot a final round of 67 to win a three-way fight with compatriot Nacho Elvira and Ireland’s Paul Dunne.

Read more: Sam Torrance: Postman Poulter sends himself to Augusta

It’s a big feat to achieve so early in his career and Rahm illustrated how much it meant to him with his comments afterwards.

The 23-year-old, who has already won five times in less than two years as a professional, said it had been his toughest final round to date because of the weight of expectation.

While tough, it’s also immensely satisfying to win a home event as it allows you to make so many people happy. It’s one that he will always remember.

I felt sorry for Elvira, who finished third, because he really played well and it would have meant so much to him, but it was Rahm’s week to get the rub of the green.

Dunne did well to take second place. He has a simple swing and is powerfully built, which makes for a very effective and impressive combination.

He is a definite contended for the European Ryder Cup team this year, but he needs to get into the world top 50 in order to play the WGC events, where big points are on offer.

There are no Ryder Cup worries whatsoever for world No4 Rahm. He’s a gun-slinger who stands people up, is built for match play and was born to represent Europe.

I don’t know if it’s something instilled in their youth, but Seve and fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal also loved the adversarial nature of taking on the United States.

RBC Heritage - Final Round
Poulter looked knackered from six hard weeks as he shot 40 on the back nine (Source: Getty)

Which brings us to Ian Poulter. The Englishman just ran out of steam at the RBC Heritage, where a back nine of 40 turned his overnight lead into a tie for seventh.

That was understandable, given that it was his sixth tournament in as many weeks – a spell in which he went from the despair of thinking he had missed out on the Masters at the WGC Match Play to then winning the Houston Open to claim a last-minute place at Augusta.

But it has been a magnificent spell for Poulter and it was a great performance to be leading in the first place. He looked knackered by the end of it but, all in all, it was a good week. Bravo.

Now he is back in the top 50, life will be more straightforward as his schedule will revolve around the Majors and the WGC events. He can sit back, enjoy some rest and chill out for a couple of weeks.

A looming Ryder Cup will certainly be spurring Poulter on, especially since he missed out on playing last time – that, more than anything, will be his inspiration.

Poulter’s slide on Sunday paved the way for Satoshi Kodaira to win the RBC Heritage, beating Korean Kim Si-woo at a play-off to claim a first PGA Tour title.

Kim had his chances – he had five putts from within 10ft at the last five holes and he only had to sink one of them – but he’s a former Players Championship winner so I have no doubt that he’ll bounce back.

Kodaira has six titles from the Japan Tour but wants to play full-time in the US – and now he can. It’s genuinely life-changing stuff and a great story.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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