Jon Rahm knew exactly what was on the line as he tried to close out victory at the Spanish Open in Madrid on Sunday.
A third win at his home championship would equal the tally of his late hero Seve Ballesteros. In the end Rahm didn’t just win – he blew the rest of the field away with a sublime final round of 62 to finish on 25 under par and win by six shots.
Min Woo Lee did his best to hang onto Rahm’s coat-tails but the world No5 was too good and, like all great players, was able to find another gear when he needed to.
I watched his whole final round and Rahm really is such a wonderful ball-striker. When he is playing like that he is right up there with anyone in the game.
By his own very high standards, then, this hasn’t been a great season. He has won on the PGA Tour and now on the DP World Tour too but he will have wanted another major to add to last year’s US Open.
We have also seen a few signs of his temperament showing. He needs to keep that in check; it’s fine being angry when playing, but that emotion is better off kept inside.
Rahm could yet end the season with a bang. He will surely play the DP World Tour Championship, where he will be seeking another hat-trick of wins, next month.
On this form, the man from the Basque Country is capable of anything.
Matthieu Pavon boosted his chances of playing the European circuit’s lucrative season finale in Dubai, too, with a strong finish in Madrid.
The Frenchman holed a wonderful 20-footer on the last to snatch solo second place from Lee and climb to 32nd on the DP World Tour points list.
Pavon may still be seeking his first win on the tour but he is a very good player.
Kim joins Rahm in equalling records
Rahm wasn’t the only man following in the footsteps of the greats at the weekend, as Tom Kim became the first man since Tiger Woods to win multiple PGA Tour titles before the age of 21.
To match any record that Tiger holds you have to be pretty special and, make no mistake, the 20-year-old South Korean certainly is.
Kim has quickly become hugely popular on the PGA Tour and it’s easy to see why. He seems like a real free spirit and that shows in his swing.
Incredibly, he didn’t drop a single shot all week in winning the Shriners Children’s Open. And his first win in August came by five shots despite starting with a quadruple bogey.
We’ve seen Korean players top the women’s world rankings. Perhaps Kim will one day be the first to do the same in the men’s game.
Another young player catching the eye at the weekend was Eugenio Chacarra. The Spaniard, who dropped out of college to join the LIV Golf circuit in the summer and on Sunday landed his first professional title in Bangkok.
Ewart Shadoff inspired by Hull
England have had a fine fortnight on the LPGA Tour, meanwhile, after Jodi Ewart Shadoff won her maiden title in the US at the Mediheal Championship in California on Sunday.
Ewart Shadoff’s win came a week after Charley Hull also won the tour – another example of how players can be inspired to greater things by their compatriots’ achievements.
Finally, keen amateurs can enjoy one of Britain’s finest courses and support a good cause at the same time next week when Sunningdale hosts a golf day to raise money for Glasgow’s Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.
Sam Torrance OBE is a former Ryder Cup-winning captain and one of Europe’s most successful golfers. Follow him @torrancesam