Jon Rahm, King of Europe

The Basque won in Dubai the final and general of the European circuit, the Order of Merit. Only one Spaniard, Seve Ballesteros, had achieved it before.


Jon Rahm starts to face Tiger Woods when he comes to the final day of a tournament. Like El Tigre, one of the great finishers of history, he was infallible in the Spanish Open and he did not err this Sunday in Dubai. There he won for the second time (he had already done it in 2017) the DP World Tour Championship, final tournament of the European circuit, and by extension the Race to Dubai, the old Order of Merit.

The Biscayan activated the cannibal mode from the beginning. Wiesberger, his main competitor for the continental throne, had already decayed the previous day (he came 24th in -2, to 13 goals) and with two birdies in the first two holes he soon drove away the Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, an outsider without victories in Europe he was leaving with him in -15, and a regular hunter like McIlroy. None could reach it because Rahm replayed the entire repertoire: this week has been the second best since the tee, the third around the green and the fourth in the approach. Wedges, so far the least good part of their game, are now a lethal weapon. Attack almost any flag and so, each round is a stream of birdies. He put six on the first day, four with an eagle the second, seven the third and another eight in the final round.

One more than Sergio García, who signed a great sixth place with -10, and the same as the hairy Fleetwood, the one who got more this Sunday at the Jumeirah Golf Estates. Rahmbo only hesitated in the putt (15th this week in that category) and it could cost him a disgust when he left a single to pair in 15 and made the bogey. Because that gave wings to Fleetwood, who came from behind (started at 11) as a missile and sealed a birdie in the last to recover a disadvantage that came to be eight strokes at the height of 7 and put the tie at -18 in head

Barrika still had a hole ahead and the English had to see a demonstration of power from the margins of the green. Rahm went to a bunker with the second blow, but his recovery was masterful and left a putt of about two meters to the final -19. It didn't fail, of course.

"I have told myself in the 18th 'how many times have you dreamed of having a putt to win in the last?'. I have recovered well from the bunker and put it in. It has been a great effort to concentrate again put myself in perspective for the last holes. This was meant to be that way and it has been. It's golf, "said the Basque excited (" I'm almost crying ") on the green of 18.

His triumph, the fifth of the season and the tenth of his career, brings double garrison. Economically, a boat of 5 million dollars (just over 4.5 million euros), three for the final and two for the general; in statistics, the honor of putting his name next to Seve Ballesteros, one of his idols, as the only two Spaniards who have managed to win the circuit (the Cantabrian did it six times, in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1988 and 1991). "It's a great inspiration for me, like Sergio. Putting my name next to yours is hard to believe." A new blow to the history of the Lion of Barrika at age 25, with only three professionals. And at the gates of Ryder and Games year. Hold on.



Photos from as.com
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