Spain’s Jon Rahm put on a dominant display to claim his maiden European Tour title at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation by a massive six shots over Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and England’s Matthew Southgate.
The 22-year-old, who was playing in only his sixth European Tour event, claimed 1,019,362 points to remain in third place but upped his season total to 2,653,886 in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, with an inaugural outing already well and truly secured in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 16-19.
Rahm closed the gap to second place in the rankings on his fellow countryman Sergio Garcia to just 47,742 points, while England’s Tommy Fleetwood maintained his place on top of the Race to Dubai with yet another top ten finish.
Nick Tarratt, Director of the European Tour International Dubai office, said
“We congratulate Jon on his first European Tour win and. look forward to welcoming him to Dubai in November.
“With his explosive style of play, Jon is one of the most exciting upcoming players on Tour and is definitely one to look out for in the future.”
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free was also full of praise for the winner: “Congratulations to Jon Rahm on a spectacular win. The golf course here at Portstewart provided an absolutely stunning backdrop and plenty of challenges to the competitors, which really added to the sense of occasion around the week.”
“This has become such an important event due to the fact that it is one of just eight tournaments on the Rolex Series, meaning that it has a substantial prize fund of over US$7 million this year. The tournament has developed and grown since the Rory Foundation became involved and we took over the title sponsorship three years ago and it is now one of the European Tour’s most important events.”
Rahm went in to the final day at the stunning Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland on 18 under par and in a share of the lead with America’s Daniel Im.
But a superb eagle hole out on the par five fourth and three straight birdies to close out the front nine saw him got out in 31 and pull ahead of the pack in wet and windy conditions.
In the end, the Spaniard produced a brilliant closing round of 65 to get to 24 under par and romp to victory by six shots over Ramsay and Southgate.
“Man, this is a nice feeling,” said Rahm, who moves to number eight in the Official World Golf rankings a little more than a year after turning professional.
“It’s such a great honour now just to be part of the history of this event. Such a great country, such a great history in the tournament and such a great golf course. To me it’s such a great week, it really is special for me to share it with three of my heroes.”
Thank You to all the fans in Northern Ireland this week. You all were tremendous. Thank you to @McIlroyRory for being a great host.
— Jon Rahm Rodriguez (@JonRahmpga) July 9, 2017
Joint runners-up Matthew Southgate and Richie Ramsay gained 531,223 points each as the former leapfrogged from 145th to 26th to all but secure a place in the DP World Tour Championship, open only to the top 60 ranked players, for the second consecutive season, while Ramsay’s strong performance saw him move from 104th to 18th place in the Race to Dubai, which again, should be enough to get him into the season-ending showcase in Dubai with over four months of the season still remaining.
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox had a productive week with his tied fourth place finish earning him 240,672 points to take his season total to 602,320 which puts him in with a strong chance of earning a debut at Jumeirah Golf Estates while the result also saw him qualify for The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
England’s Justin Rose joined Fox in fourth place to earn 240,672 points which resulted in him moving up two places from seventh to fifth place with 1,529,404 for the season while Japan’s Hideto Tanihara found his place back in the top ten, finishing tied 10th to take his season tally to 1,044,637 after securing 113,353 points.
He now moves from eleventh to ninth place in the Race to Dubai following yet another impressive performance on the European Tour.
Tommy Fleetwood remains at the head of the Race to Dubai Rankings with 3,634,431 points with Sergio Garcia is in second with a season-tally of 2,701,628 points and Jon Rahm in third on 2,653,886.