Rahm storms into Portrush mix after second Irish Open triumph
If Jon Rahm’s candidature for the 148th Open Championship was not clear enough already then it is blatantly obvious now after he emphasised his love of both links golf and Ireland at Lahinch yesterday.
With a brilliant 62, the 24-yearold overhauled a five-shot deficit to win his second Irish Open in three years. Rahm was 14 under for the weekend – with a six-under 64 on Saturday – and was utterly relentless in pursuit of the eighth title of a career that is only three years old.
Rahm’s past three starts read third, second, first, and it is little wonder that he has been brought into 12-1 third favourite for Royal Portrush next week, behind Rory Mcilroy and Brooks Koepka.
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and England’s Andy Sullivan were two strokes back on 16 under.
“I love this tournament, I love the country, I love the people,” Rahm said. “I feel like I’m at home here. Seve [Ballesteros] is the only Spanish player to have won this event twice, so it’s very special to add my name to the trophy again. I can’t wait to get to Portrush.”
Rafael Cabrera-bello looked the likely champion when going three clear early on, but fell away in the heat of the Rahm onslaught. Rahm shot a three-under 31 going out and a five-under 31 coming in, including two bogeys. It never got better than the 25-footer for eagle on 12.
“The first two days I couldn’t hole the putts, and the weekend was the complete opposite,” he said. “I felt really confident and I knew I could do something special.”
In a tie for fourth came two more Englishmen, Eddie Pepperell and Robert Rock, alongside Cabrerabello. Wiesberger and Liverpudlian Paul Waring joined Rock in grabbing the Open spots on offer.
Hot streak: Jon Rahm shot eight under yesterday to win by two shots