Jon Rahm is number one

Jon Rahm won the Memorial Tournament and ousted Rory McIlroy. He is 24th number one in history, 10th European and 2nd Spanish after Severiano Ballesteros.


Against the wind and the storm, without an audience and on a very uncomfortable day but he will never forget in his life, Jon Rahm scratched the tenth title of his still short career in the Memorial Tournament, the most important because it places him as number one in the world for 30 years and 11 months after Severiano Ballesteros, another Spaniard, the only one until yesterday, was the leader of the ranking that was established in 1986 for the last time. Rahm is the 24th player to occupy the throne, the tenth European and the fifth youngest to do so. , at 25 years and 8 months, after Tiger Woods (21 and 5), Jordan Spieth (22), Rory McIlroy (22 and 10), who is precisely the one who is overtaken in the points table by the Basque, and Justin Thomas (25 and 1) .

Rated as the highest level tournament in the history of the PGA Tour by the category of its participants, majors and number one winners (Woods, Johnson, Spieth, Thomas, McIlroy, Day, Mickelson, Koepka, Rose, Sergio García ... ), the Memorial brought out the best in Rahm and his already famous consistency. In a hellish field, the Muirfield Village in Dublin (Ohio, USA), with devilish greens designed by its owner, the great Jack Nicklaus, and in the middle of a hot flash (over 30º) and humidity (62%) difficult to bear, Barrika's made good the advantage that he had achieved in his stupendous third round and with suffering endured the challenge of his party partner, his good friend Ryan Palmer (together they won the Zurich Classic last year) .

Jon started with -12, with four strokes ahead and got to have eight over the American after scoring two birdies on holes 5 and 7 after a three-quarter hour stoppage due to threat of storm and strong breeze. He seemed released, on the way to humiliation and with McIlroy at sidereal distances, with no options to finish second and save the leadership of the ranking. Finau, who like Palmer had started with -8, plunged down and left the fight for the victory in the hands of the two protagonists of the stellar duel. Black clouds hung over Rahm for a few minutes of anxiety in which he chained a bogey and a double bogey to send the ball into the water in the middle of a monumental piss.

Pressure and reaction

He had to grit his teeth and hold on, to appeal to his unwavering regularity, to his desire not to take a blow for loss. However, the impetus and the desire to solve the situation played a trick on him. The blows were a bit long and his colleague Palmer got three hits with three holes to play. McIlroy pulled away, fell +4 below 30th and made possible Rahm's goal, which would have been even number one with second place.

But the Basque did not want to show off his feat, not in front of Nicklaus, who had presented him in 2016 with the award that bears his distinguished name for the Best University Player and that four years later put in his young hands the Memorial trophy, a colorful glass of crystal with the British Claret Jug inside. When his rival tightened his grip, in 16 an incredible approach was taken from outside the green, quite far from the hole, which slipped without touching the flag. "Inside, let's go!" Roared the Spanish. "It was incredible," Jack said later.

It was the sentence (-9 at the end for a penalty precisely on the 16th), the turning point he needed to temper nerves and walk towards glory in an inexorable way and with honors. Rahm, without having yet won a major, enters the lineage of other Spanish leaders such as Nadal, Muguruza, Carolina Marín, Ángel Nieto, Alonso, Mireia Belmonte, Sergio García, Indurain and Seve Ballesteros himself. It is at the top and with years ahead to improve

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