Jon Rahm accomplished this Sunday in Dubai what no other Spanish golfer has achieved since 1991. What no other Spanish golfer has done since Severiano Ballesteros.
Rahm won the DP World Tour Championship, the last tournament of the European Tour, and took home the trophy in the Race to Dubai. The first Spanish golfer to accomplish this daunting task in 28 years. Only second to Seve Ballesteros. The golfer from Barrika made history at just 25 years old, and his third season as a professional, combining the the European Tour with the PGA Tour, and having only competed in 13 tournaments on this side of the Atlantic. Simply extraordinary.
“I’m here to win tournaments and to make my mark”, Rahm assured just after winning the two big trophies of the day. There’s no doubt about it. He’s quite good at winning tournaments. It’s the ninth win of his career, sixth in the European Tour, the fourth Rolex Series and the second Dubai Final. In his three complete years as a professional, he’s won nine times. Nobody tops his record, only Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas have tied him for the record for this time period. Just outstanding.
Rahm won the DP World Tour Championship with a stellar performance. He felt good, once again, on the Earth Course at Jumeirah from start to finish. He was brilliant on the tee shots all week, and a force to be reckoned with on the putt when necessary. He won with four rounds of 66, 69, 66 and 68 shots for a total of -19. He finished in 1st with a one-shot advantage over Tommy Fleetwood, his big rival on Sunday in the fight to win the Race to Dubai, and two over Mike Lorenzo Vera, with whom he was paired in the stellar game.
His performance on the greens in the last round was extraordinary. He started the day off with the pedal to the metal, sinking the putts from all distances on the first third of the round. At the start of the 7th hole, he was at a total of five under par for the day, and had close to a 40-meter putt on his hands. It seemed as though the tournament would be a bed of roses from there on out, but the thorns did emerge. Unplayable ball on the 8th hole, and two inopportune three putts on the 9th and the 15th holes, which complicated things a bit, up until the bitter end on the 18th hole, where the only shot at the win was a birdie.
“It’s what I’ve always dreamed of since I was little when I would train at Larrabea…I wanted to make it to Sunday with the win hanging on one final birdie, not to mention a tournament as important as this one. It’s what went through my mind on the 18th hole, and a sense of calm came over me”, he explained afterword. A fabulous save from a bunker on the 18th hole, and a putt from one meter out, uphill, which marked the path to the birdie he needed to seal the deal on the historic double victory. Jon’s mark goes deeper and deeper every time.