Rahm storms into Portrush mix af­ter sec­ond Ir­ish Open tri­umph

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Golf - By James Cor­ri­gan GOLF COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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

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