Just one day after Irish Golfer Magazine asked the question – why no update on the 2021 DP World Tour Player of the Year, Jon Rahm has won the Seve Ballesteros Award after being voted in by his fellow professionals on the DP World Tour.
The Spaniard scoops the prestigious accolade for the second time in three years after another spectacular season in which he claimed his first Major Championship, spent 27 weeks as World Number One and finished as Europe’s leading points scorer at the Ryder Cup.
Rahm became the first Spanish player to win the U.S. Open, and just the fourth player from his country to win any Major, when he finished one shot clear of Louis Oosthuizen at Torrey Pines Golf Course in June.
The 27-year-old, who only two weeks earlier had tested positive for Covid-19, produced a sensational finish to hold off the challenge of South African Oosthuizen, draining a 25 foot birdie putt on the 17th hole before closing out with another birdie from 18 feet on the last.
Earlier in the year, Rahm finished tied fifth in the Masters and tied eighth at the US PGA Championship, and he extended his remarkable form in the Majors by finishing in a share of third position in the Open Championship at Royal St George’s in July.
His impressive 2021 season also included a share of fifth position in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and seventh place in the abrdn Scottish Open, the second Rolex Series event of 2021, while his statistics were equally notable on the PGA TOUR where he recorded 15 top ten finishes in total.
Rahm also took his stunning individual form in golf’s biggest events into September’s Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits where he finished as Europe’s leading points scorer with 3.5 points from his five matches. Three of those points came from his undefeated partnership with compatriot Sergio Garcia which evoked memories of the legendary Spanish pairing of José María Olazábal and Seve Ballesteros.
Rahm also followed in the latter’s footsteps by returning to the Number One spot on the Official World Golf Ranking, spending more than half the calendar year at the summit of the game.
He receives the Player of the Year award named in his compatriot’s honour which, for the first time this year, now also incorporates the former Golfer of the Year award into one singular honour voted for by the players, helping further commemorate Ballesteros’ incredible legacy as the European Tour group embarks on its 50th anniversary year.
Rahm said: “Winning anything with Seve’s name on it is a huge honour for me, as is the fact that this is voted for by the players of the DP World Tour.
“It is very unique to be recognised by your peers like this. It is a true honour to be able to win this award for a second time and hopefully I can continue to make the DP World Tour proud.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said “In the first year of this being the Tour’s combined Player of the Year award named in honour of one Spanish great, it is fitting the winner is another incredible Spaniard who is creating his own remarkable legacy on the global stage.
“Jon’s form throughout 2021 was simply outstanding and his victory at the U.S. Open, in front of his family, was undoubtedly a highlight that will live long in the memory. That cemented his place among the pantheon of Europe’s all-time leading players and his contribution in the colours of Europe at the Ryder Cup also demonstrated what an extraordinary competitor he is.”
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