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Jon Rahm, second Spanish world number one golfer after Seve Ballesteros
23 July 2020 @ 20:26

GOLFER Jon Rahm is only the second Spaniard in history to have reached world number one after the late, great Severiano Ballesteros – and he has achieved this at the tender age of 25.

In what he described 'one of the best performances of his life', the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio (USA) is the Basque prodigy's first title of this year's PGA Tour and his fourth overall - he has won one every year since turning professional - and the 11th win of his career.

It followed a hard-fought battle that, by the 15th tee in round four, saw his eight-shot lead over partner Ryan Palmer drop to three.

Drawing inspiration from his idol, Seve – who netted the world number one slot for the first time in 1986 – Rahm managed to keep his lead until the end, but with all the odds apparently stacked against him.

Clutch pars on holes 15, 17 and 18 were marred by a two-shot penalty on hole 16 after what was first thought to be a birdie.

He had knocked the ball without realising, making it move and failing to replace it before taking the shot.

But in the end, it made no difference; the sweating, palpitating Rahm ended three shots up after Sunday's final round at Muirfield Village, which was enough to clinch his number one ranking.

He told PGA Tour reporters: “I finished today with some clutch up-and-downs and, as a Spaniard, I'm kind of glad it happened that way – every shot counts, and I tried every shot and got those two last up-and-downs as a true Spaniard would.”

Handing in a card with 73 shots for the fourth round and 279 in total – nine under par – Rahm gets 76 points for his Memorial victory for an overall 460.82, knocking Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (419) off the top slot where he has sat for the last 11 weeks.



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