Jon Rahm joined Seve Ballesteros by putting the Spain flag on top of the world after his win at the Memorial Tournament.
Rahm built an eight-shot lead at the turn, only to see it reduced to three shots with three holes to play Sunday on a Muirfield Village course playing its toughest in 42 years.
Ultimately, it was a Seve-like touch on the 16th that helped him seal the win.
In trouble behind the green on the par-three 16th, with Ryan Palmer facing a 12-foot birdie putt from the fringe, Rahm hit a flop shot from deep grass that came out perfectly. It landed on the fringe, ran toward the hole and dropped for birdie as the fiery Spaniard let out a ferocious fist pump.
Palmer took bogey on the 17th, and the coronation was on.
The only issue was the score. Replay of Rahm’s chip appeared to show the ball moved ever so slightly when he placed his lob wedge behind it. PGA Tour officials reviewed it and gave him a two-shot penalty. It didn’t affect the outcome.
Rahm was surprised when it was mentioned to him after he finished and said he didn’t realise anything was wrong.
‘It doesn’t take anything from the shot,’ he said. ‘It’s not going to take anything away from today.’
Rahm closed with a three-over 75 for a three-shot victory over Palmer, the highest final round by a Memorial winner since Roger Maltbie shot 76 in the inaugural year in 1976.
The victory was the 10th of Rahm’s career, his fourth on the PGA Tour and jumps him to No 8 in the FedExCup standings. He moves past Rory McIlroy in the world ranking by winning against the strongest field of the year.
It was the strongest test, too, with the rough not being cut and the greens allowed to bake out because they are being replaced. The fifth green already was stripped as the leaders were on the back nine.
Only five players broke par, the fewest for a final round since the Memorial began in 1976. The average score of 75.932 was the highest for the final round since it was 75.972 in 1978.
Rahm looked to be playing a different course. He played bogey-free on the front nine with birdies on the two par fives. That put him eight shots clear on his way to No 1.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick had a 68 for the low score of the final day to finish third.
The consolation prize went to Palmer (74) and Mackenzie Hughes (72), who earned spots in the US Open at Winged Foot in September as the leading two players from the top 10 who were not already eligible.