Jon Rahm ended any doubt on Sunday who was going to win the Acciona Open de Espana with the kind of emphatic shot the sixth-ranked player in the world has come to be known for.
It was on the par-5 14th hole at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. The 27-year-old Spaniard—easily the fan favorite having spent the week ingratiating himself to local crowds by supporting the DP World Tour event in his home country—was three shots in the lead, his tee shot settling in a relatively good lie in the left rough. Rahm had no intention of holding back, sending a penetrating second shot toward the green. The ball landed softly just shy of the green and locked in on the hole. It was guilty of carrying a bit too much steam, so when it came toward the cup it didn’t fall in for the double eagle 2 but instead glanced off the flag stick. But the four-footer left for eagle was a mere formality, and when playing partner Min Woo Lee bogeyed the hole, Rahm was now leading by six.
The rest of round took the form of a victory lap, Rahm soaking up the applause and providing fans the attraction they hoped to see. After rounds of 64-68-65 the three previous days, a closing 62 was as remarkable as it was apropos, giving him a 25-under 250 total.
If it looked a little like relief on Rahm’s face behind the 18th green, maybe it was even after claiming a six-shot win over Matthieu Pavon after leading by just one at the start of the day.
“I understand this might not be the strongest of fields I play all year but sometimes this is the hardest to win,” said Rahm after winning his eighth career DP World Tour title . “I’m at home, I’m supposed to win. Everybody is betting on me to win. To come out and play a Sunday like I just did, it’s hard to describe.”
If the local pressure wasn’t enough, there was also the history Rahm was trying to accomplish. Only Seve Ballesteros had won Spain’s national open three times (1981, 1985, 1995), needing 15 years to do it; Rahm was able to match the accomplishment in five years, having won in 2018 and 2019 previously.
“It was the goal coming in,” Rahm said. “You know Seve is a great hero of mine. To do something it took his whole career to do in just a few years is quite humbling. I’m not going to lie.”
We’d be remiss if we didn’t show two more highlights that showed just how well Rahm was playing on the day and the week.
Let’s just say if Rahm is making long-range putts like these, everybody is playing for second. The solid putting got the attention of one curious fan/Ryder Cup captain.