Irish Open champ Rahm receives Seve Ballesteros Award

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Jon Rahm presented with the Seve award by last year's winner Francesco Molinari. Picture by Getty Images

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Jon Rahm has received the Seve Ballesteros Award as the 2019 European Tour Players’ Player of the Year, after a spectacular campaign which included two Rolex Series titles, another victory on home soil and culminated in him being crowned the Race to Dubai Champion.

The 25-year-old claimed his second Dubai Duty Free Irish Open title at Lahinch Golf Club last July, before successfully defending his title at the Mutuactivos Open de España in October.

His third victory of the season, and his second victory at the season-ending DP World Championship, Dubai, made it a record four Rolex Series titles and earned him the title of European Tour Number One – the first Spaniard to do so since the late, great Ballesteros in 1991.

“It’s unique to win this award,” said Rahm. “I talk a lot about the history of the game and the history of Spanish golf and with how much Seve means to all of us. To win an award that is recognition from all of your peers but also with Seve’s name on it, is very special.

“To be selected on as Player of the Year by the European Tour players is a huge accomplishment but being related to Seve’s legacy in any kind of way is an honour to all Spanish players and I’m glad to hold this trophy, have it home at some point and say I’m a Seve Ballesteros Award winner.

“To join a list with the many others who have won it is a special feeling, hard to explain, but very humbling.”

Ahead of the WGC-Mexico Championship, the 2018 Seve Ballesteros Award winner Francesco Molinari presented Rahm with the trophy – voted for by all Members of the European Tour.

“Jon’s year was amazing last year, but I think from the moment he got on the professional scene he just hit the ground running and has never looked back,” said Molinari.

“Obviously last year, winning the Race to Dubai and Rolex Series events was amazing and so impressive.

“He’s still very young and has many years ahead of him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is World Number One soon or battling with Rory. I know he has a chance this week, but I think that is a duel that we’ll see going on much longer than this week.

“It was right up there in my achievements to win this award last year. Obviously it came on the back of winning the Race to Dubai and obviously you get picked by your mates and colleagues, and it carries the name of Seve who probably is the most influential European golfer ever.

“It was great to get my name written on that plate and that is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Previous winners of the Seve Ballesteros Award given to the European Tour Players’ Player of the Year are: Padraig Harrington (2008), Lee Westwood (2009), Martin Kaymer (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011, 2014 and 2015), Luke Donald (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013, 2016), Tommy Fleetwood (2017) and Francesco Molinari (2018).

“Jon is a tremendous talent and he enjoyed a terrific 2019 season on the European Tour,” said Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour. “This award, voted for by his peers, is further recognition of that.

“After Jon joined Seve Ballesteros as the only other Spaniard to become the European Tour’s Number One player, it is fitting that he now receives this prestigious award named in Seve’s honour.”

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