Jon Rahm earns special home win with Spanish Open title

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Aside from a major, winning your home open is as good as it gets. Jon Rahm knows all about that after capturing the $1.8 million Spanish Open on his championship debut.

The World No. 4 returned a closing 5-under 67 around Centro Nacional de Golf in Madrid to post a 20-under 268. It gave him a two-shot victory over Ireland’s Paul Dunne.

Rahm picked up a check for $308,000, while 54-hole leader Dunne took home $206,000.

“It’s hard to describe the feeling of satisfaction and pride I have right now,” Rahm said. “I’m blessed to be national champion of the Spanish federation many times – European champion, world champion representing them – so to be able to do this as a pro and for them, and for the Spanish people, feels great.”

The Arizona State graduate began the day two shots behind Dunne, but birdied the first hole to begin his charge.

“I knew that if I played my game I could make birdies early on, and I started with that great drive on one and that great second shot and started with four perfect shots.”

Another birdie at the second put him right in the frame for his third European Tour win.

“I just kept the good play going. My putter hasn’t been the hottest all week but the strokes I’ve gained off the tee and the driver the way I’ve hit it has compensated. I’m just happy to play the way I did when my putting wasn’t the greatest.”

There was a lot of pressure on Rahm because he was playing in front of home fans.

“It’s probably by far the hardest Sunday I’ve ever had to play just because of the amount of crowds I was carrying,” he said. “I saw the willingness and the feeling everybody had. They were pushing me so hard and I felt that. It was really hard to deal with the public’s emotions. Even though I tried to isolate myself, I could feel it. I was stressed and that’s why I didn’t play my best, but I did the best I could.”

His best was more than good enough.

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