• Rahm canters to title defence

    Jon Rahm
    Rahm is the champ ... again

    Home hero Jon Rahm successfully defended his Open de España title with a dominant five shot victory at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.

    The World No 5 carded a closing 66 that saw him finish at 22 under and enter the record books with a fifth European Tour victory in just his 39th start.

    Rafa Cabrera Bello was his nearest challenger as Spaniards dominated the leaderboard, with World Number 1,413 Samuel Del Val at 15 under in just his fifth European Tour event.

    The victory moved Rahm to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex as he looks to become the first Spaniard to win the Harry Vardon Trophy since the late, great Seve Ballesteros in 1991.

    The 24-year-old is now the fastest Spaniard to five European wins, achieving the feat in ten fewer events than Ballesteros at the venue where the 1997 Ryder Cup captain won his 50th and final European Tour title 24 years ago.

    ‘In front of a home crowd, it’s always really hard for me to keep everything under control and to play the weekend that I did for them, it’s always really fun,’ he said.

    ‘I can’t wait to come back next year and hopefully do it three times.

    ‘It was unlike anything else. Spanish crowds love golf, they love us coming back. It’s hard to believe how many people come out here.’

    After an opening 12 pars, Cabrera Bello birdied five of his last six holes in a 66, while Del Val carded a 68 to take home a cheque for €93 900 – over ten times more than his lifetime European Tour earnings so far.

    Justin Harding (67) and Zander Lombard (69) tied for seventh alongside Sergio Garcia among others.

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