Spain’s Jon Rahm has joined the European Tour as affiliate members for the 2017 season. Jon is inside the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking, with the promising 22 year old currently ranked 38th, thanks in part to his recent victory at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rahm will now be able to earn Race to Dubai presented by Rolex ranking points, beginning this week at the WGC–Mexico Championship, while Rahm will also be eligible to earn Ryder Cup points when the race to qualify for Thomas Bjørn’s European Team for Paris 2018 begins.
Providing he stays inside the world’s top 50, Rahm would be eligible to play in any of the first five tournaments in the European Tour’s new Rolex Series – an alliance of eight events each with a minimum prize fund of US$7million.
Rahm has already represented Spain in the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf, finishing eighth alongside 2016 Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello in Australia last November.
He was born in the Spanish town of Barrika before studying at Arizona State University, where he was the world’s top-ranked amateur before bursting onto the professional scene with six top 25 finishes in nine starts on the PGA Tour last season before his breakthrough win in January.
Rahm said: “It means a lot to me to join the European Tour – I’m European after all! I have always wanted to play the Ryder Cup and I have always wanted to be a member of the European Tour. I have obviously taken a different approach to tour life than a lot of other Europeans who went to college in the States, but I thought this was my best shot. I’m surprised I have been able to take this opportunity so early but it’s great to be able to join.
“I have so many memories of the European Tour – one that stands out was watching Justin Rose’s hole-in-one on the third hole at the Volvo Masters the year he won the Order of Merit at Valderrama. I remember Miguel winning the French Open; Pablo winning the French Open and then Pablo and Sergio’s play-off at the BMW International too. I’m really looking forward to playing some tournaments on the European Tour.”