Jon Rahm returns to Ireland one year after his victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. It’s not just another week for the golfer from Barrika.
He is the defending champion of this grand Rolex Series event, which will be held on a different course this year. The Irish Open was his first win in the European Tour, and will always hold that place in his heart. He also has a very special connection with his Irish fans.
“It’s a very special feeling. It’s incredible the amount of respect I’ve gotten since returning. There are many fans that have told me they hope I’ll defend the title and win again, and that’s really something, keeping in mind that Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry are also here, among others. They have a lot of love for me. I feel as much support here as I did when I won the Open de España, and that’s amazing”, he remarked.
Rahm also finds himself quite comfortable on the new course. The tournament will be held at Ballyliffin in Northern Ireland, a modern links course that has left more than one golfer speechless. “The views are spectacular, some of the best I’ve seen in my life, mostly off the 7th and 14th tees, Jon explained.
As far as the course preparation, the Spanish golfer warns that it will be a demanding week. “I don’t think there will be such low scores as last year. Not much wind is expected and there will be better weather, but the course is tough and the greens are hard and fast. As soon as the breeze kicks in slightly, it’ll become quite a challenge”, Rham affirms.
Jon will play the first two rounds in one of the star games of the tournament, as expected. He’ll play with Rafa Cabrera Bello and Graeme Mcdowell. He’s in search of his third victory in a Rolex Series tournament, and the fourth in the European Tour in just over one year since his debut. The stats never cease to amaze.