Rahm’s grá for Ireland deepens with rampant Lahinch win

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Irish Open champion Jon Rahm (Photo: Getty Images)

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Jon Rahm carded a sizzling 62 in the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to become the first player to win three Rolex Series titles in front of sell-out crowds at the famed Lahinch Golf Club.

The Spaniard entered the final day five strokes behind leader Robert Rock but stormed to the top of the leaderboard after carding an eagle and eight birdies to get to 16 under and win this event for the second time in front of capacity crowds.

It was two years ago that Rahm lifted this trophy in his rookie season for a maiden European Tour win and he now has four titles to his name – with three of those coming in the prestigious Rolex Series – after just his 34th appearance.

“I keep saying, I love this tournament. I love this country. I love the people and feel like I’m at home every time I come,” said Rahm.

“My game was in great form, it just didn’t show the first two days. I couldn’t hole the putts, and the weekend was the complete opposite. Putts started rolling in from everywhere, I felt really confident and I knew I could do something.

“I knew I had to do it today to have a chance, and man, I kept looking at the leaderboard and looking up, and after ten, I’m like okay, let’s get a good run and that eagle on 12 just completely got me going. Even though I had the little mistake on 13, I just knew that my target number was 15 under.

“Definitely thrilled with the back nine I had. Me and Adam (caddie) did a lot of work over the weekend to polish the mistakes over the first few days. Excited to repeat. I think Seve (Ballesteros) was the only Spanish player to win more than one and to join my name to that trophy again, it’s special. It’s probably one of my favourite trophies that I have at home, and to have another one, it’s definitely a special moment. I don’t know how to explain it.”

The victory moves the 24-year-old to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex and also takes him back into the top ten on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and England’s Andy Sullivan finished two off the lead, a shot clear of two more Englishmen in Eddie Pepperell and Robert Rock, and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Wiesberger and Rock earned places in the field at The Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club with their top ten performances, as did England’s Paul Waring, who finished at 12 under along with another Spaniard in Jorge Campillo.

The event reached capacity weekend crowds at Lahinch Golf Club, emulating the 2012 edition at Royal Portrush Golf Club, by selling out both Saturday and Sunday as a total of 86,793 came through the gates at the famous Old Course links.

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