Jon Rahm is a proud Spaniard, so to defend his title at the Spanish Open over the weekend was a phenomenal achievement.
Rahm didn’t put a foot wrong over the four days in Madrid. He looked like he thrived on the pressure, carding a five-under-par final round of 66 to finish on 22-under-par – five shots ahead of the field.
Compatriots Rafa Cabrera Bello and world No1413 Samuel Del Val finished second and third respectively to create a Spanish 1-2-3 on a memorable weekend for the home players.
It was a superb display from Rahm and it was made extra special by another achievement the win ensured.
Heart on his sleeve
The victory was the world No4’s fifth on the European Tour in just his 39th event, a feat which saw him beat legendary player and fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros to the mark by 10 tournaments.
The standard of player is higher these days too because of increased professionalism, which just goes to show how talented Rahm is.
He is still only 24, but he looks 32 and plays like a 35-year-old, so he has some future ahead of him.
He has already stated his desire to make it a hat-trick of wins at the event next year and match Ballesteros, who won his home event three times during his illustrious career.
Rahm wears his heart on his sleeve on the course and can be prone to emotional outbursts after a bad shot, but I don’t think that’s a problem, as long as he doesn’t overstep the mark.
It shows how much he cares and may even focus his mind.
His second win on the European Tour this season, following his success at the Irish Open in July, sees him overtake Open champion Shane Lowry at the top of the Race to Dubai standings, and with seven events left he’s in an excellent position.
Rahm only turned professional in 2016 and has already reached a high point of world No2 in his short career, so I think it’s only a matter of time until he hits the very top.
He’s already shown he can mix it with the best and every tournament win builds his confidence a little bit more. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to win his first Major next year because he has every aspect required to do it.
Late bloomer Na
Elsewhere, on the PGA Tour, there was a win for Kevin Na, who at the age of 36 seems to be finding form.
He triple-bogeyed the 10th to let Patrick Cantlay back in before rallying to beat his compatriot in a play-off to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Na won just once on the PGA Tour in his first 369 career starts, but now has two wins in 2019 and three victories in his last 30 appearances altogether.
His form comes at a good time, with a captains’ pick for December’s Presidents Cup a possibility.
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