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Rahm Survives 'Toughest Sunday' In Madrid

Jon Rahm says winning the Spanish Open in Madrid wasn't as easy as it looked (Photo: Getty Images)
It was hardly the biggest stage he’s succeeded on but Jon Rahm says winning in front of a home crowd in Madrid was the most difficult Sunday he’s ever endured.

Rahm came from two shots behind Ireland’s Paul Dunne to claim his national Open at the Centro Nacional de Golf overnight, a fifth professional victory and third European Tour title.

But it was far from plain sailing for the World’s Number Four ranked golfer who flew straight from a solo fourth place finish at the Masters to headline the Spanish Open.

The decision paid off Sunday evening but not without some stress.

“It's truly been the hardest Sunday I've ever had in any tournament that I've won because the crowd wanted it so much and I wanted it so much,” he said after signing for a final round 67.

“You can tell how excited everybody is, I felt that tension, I felt that stress, I felt everything magnified.

“They played a huge part, I came for them mainly so I'm just glad I can win this one for the Spanish people."

The 24-year-old is one of the game’s most highly regarded young players and to win his home Open at an early age will be a relief.

"It's such a satisfying feeling," he said. "When I made the decision to come straight from Augusta it wouldn't be to just show up and walk around, I wanted to win this tournament.

"I've been blessed to be national champion from 16 to all ages in Spain. To round my amateur and pro career together in this way and win the last one I had to win and join that prestigious list of Spanish winners, it's hard to explain how good it feels and how satisfying it is.”

Overnight leader Paul Dunne finished second after a final round 71, one shot ahead of Rahm’s countryman Nacho Elvira.

Elvira was tied with Rahm standing on the par-3 17th tee and while both hit less than ideal tee shots Elvira’s found water while Rahm’s held up in a patch of long grass.

A two-shot swing followed when Elvira could do no better than double bogey making Rahm’s trip up the par-5 18thmuch more comfortable. 

Brett Rumford was the best of the Australians in a share of fifth, an outstanding performance from the Perth native who hadn’t posted a top 10 since winning the 2017 World Super Six tournament in Perth.

Rumford posted scores of 68-66-68-71 for the week, a double bogey at the ninth hole Sunday his only blemish of the final round.

Marcus Fraser closed with an even par 72 for an 8-under total and T46, Jason Norris two shots further back after a closing 74 to be T58.

Jason Scrivener finished at the tail of the field after a second over par round of the weekend, his 1-over 73 dropping him to minus one for the 72 holes.


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