Jon is back in Dubai, one year later. He’s at the Earth Course this week at Jumeirah, host to the last tournament of the European Tour season, the DP World Tour Championship, final tournament in the Race to Dubai.
It was on this very stage where Rahm took home the win last year, where he received the well-deserved award for rookie of the year. It was the icing on the cake. The golden seal to an unforgettable season. A volcanic eruption of sorts.
This year hasn’t been bad at all. He hasn’t won as many tournaments, two instead of three (for the moment), but on the other hand, he had a much more solid performance in the Majors with two fourth places. Things have evolved naturally, logically and very powerfully. There aren’t many critical points to be made of the season, apart from Rahm’s own demands on himself and his ambition, who always wants more, to keep improving.
And of course, he also wants to win the Dubai Final again. The only golfer who has won this tournament two years in a row is Henrik Stenson. It would be a big milestone, as well as the third Spanish victory in ten years, which says a lot.
Rahm will go into the tournament well-rested after giving everything he had in the Ryder Cup. He needed to recharge his batteries afterward, understandably, and that’s what he did. He feels fresh and ready for a powerful end to the season, with a calendar that isn’t jam-packed. The primary focus will be to charge up for next season.
He got off to a fantastic start this Thursday in the Dubai Final. He shot a 67 and is currently in third place. He made seven birdies and two bogeys, the first of which was on the 16th hole, with a painful three-putt. This was especially hard on Jon because it was the first bogey in 50 holes on this course. In other words, since the first hole of the third round last year. In any event, he came back with a brilliant birdie on the 18th hole. Jon couldn’t have got off to a better start in defending his title in Dubai.