Former DP World Tour Championship winner Jon Rahm returned to the summit of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai Rankings after successfully defending his Mutuactivos Open de España title with a dominant display in Madrid.
The 2018 Ryder Cup rookie, who secured a record third Rolex Series title earlier this year at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, posted a spellbinding 63 to tie the course record at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in the third round. The 24 year old followed this with a commanding 66 on Sunday to secure the win and put himself in pole position to become the first Spaniard to win the Harry Vardon Trophy since Seve Ballesteros in 1991.
“In front of a home crowd, it’s always really hard for me to keep everything under control and to play the weekend that I did for them, it’s always really fun,” said Rahm, who is now the fastest Spaniard to five European Tour wins – just 39 starts – achieving the feat in ten fewer events than Ballesteros.
“He (Ballesteros) did turn pro a lot earlier than I did so, age-wise, I think he’s beaten me. Still, to beat Seve in something, it’s unbelievable. He’s one of the main references from European golf and world golf in general.
“It’s great that I’ve done it here, to beat Seve’s record with his last professional win being at this course as well, it’s very special for me. Any time I can do anything close to what he did is unbelievable. That’s why I’m here. I’m trying to make Spanish golf bigger and grow the sport in Spain like he did. Hopefully with these wins I’m doing a decent job.”
Dubai resident Rafa Cabrera Bello secured his spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship with a sole second in his homeland. The former Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open champion climbs up to 11th from 22nd in the Rankings after picking up 305 Race to Dubai points.
Fellow countryman Adri Arnaus, Jeff Winther and Joachim B. Hansen shared fourth place to make vital moves in the Race to Dubai. Arnaus climbs up to 28th from 34th while Winther and Hansen edged closer to the top 50 after jumping to 78th and 89th respectively.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest prize in world tournament golf.