Double Dubai Duty Free Irish Open winner Jon Rahm declared ‘I Love G-Mac’ in confirming he will defend his title next May at Mount Juliet.
Rahm began a now six-tournament European Tour victory career in capturing the 2017 Irish Open at Portstewart and earlier this year at Lahinch was handed the gleaming trophy for a second time.
Confirmation the current World No. 3 will return to Ireland is great news on the back of news that present World No. 2 Rory McIlroy will also be joining the field, in what will be the first time McIlroy will play the course.
“Yes, I will defend the Irish Open and I always return to any tournament I am fortunate to win, to defend my title,” he said during the course of this week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
“I’ve not been to Mount Juliet but I’ve heard plenty of good reports being a great Jack Nicklaus design, and a parkland-style layout.
“I also like the schedule change as it works well given it’s getting pretty congested in July, so I’ll there and hopefully I win it a third time.”
And it led to my question to the Spanish superstar and how well he knew knew tournament host, Graeme McDowell.
“I love G-Mac, so it’s great,” said a beaming Rahm.
“He’s a great guy, good person to be around. I think he’ll be a great host.
“Both Northern Ireland and Ireland love him, he’s a very lovable person and I think he’ll make the country proud and he’ll make a good effort in that event.”
If Rahm should succeed in capturing a third Dubai Duty Free Irish Open he will match the efforts of the late, great Seve Ballesteros who won the 1983, 1985 and 1986 titles.