Rahm wins to sat­isfy ex­pec­tant home fans

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

JON RAHM spoke of his “hard­est Sun­day” af­ter fir­ing a clos­ing five­un­der-par 67 to win the Open de Es­pana in Madrid.

The world No 4 be­came the sixth Spaniard to win the tour­na­ment since it achieved Eu­ro­pean Tour sta­tus in 1972, fin­ish­ing on 20 un­der over­all and two shots clear of Ire­land’s Paul Dunne.

And Rahm – who fol­lows the likes of Seve Balles­teros and Ser­gio Gar­cia in win­ning his home event – ad­mit­ted that he found it dif­fi­cult to han­dle the ex­pec­ta­tions placed on him.

“I’m just happy to play the way I did and to get it done,” Rahm sad af­ter his third Eu­ro­pean Tour vic­tory.

“It’s prob­a­bly the hard­est Sun­day I’ve ever had to play be­cause the amount of crowds I was car­ry­ing.

“I saw the will­ing­ness and the feel­ing that ev­ery­body had to want me to win.

“They were push­ing so hard and I felt that. As a golfer it’s hard to deal with the pub­lic’s emo­tions, so I tried to iso­late my­self and that’s per­haps why I didn’t play my best golf.”

Overnight leader Dunne led by one shot head­ing into the fi­nal round, but Rahm stamped his mark on pro­ceed­ings with birdies at the first, sec­ond and sev­enth holes.

The tour­na­ment was even­tu­ally de­cided on the short 17th as Rahm es­caped with a par af­ter al­most send­ing his tee shot into the wa­ter, the ball just hold­ing up in the rough.

Rahm’s clos­est chal­lenger, Na­cho Elvira, was not so for­tu­nate at the 17th when he found the haz­ard and his hopes of a maiden vic­tory dis­ap­peared with a dou­ble bo­gey five. Mo­ments later Rahm birdied the last to se­cure vic­tory.

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