Mutuactivos Open de Espana

Mutuactivos Open de Espana

Mutuactivos Open de Espana
Madrid, Spain
Winner: Jon Rahm

In the year that Max Faulkner was remembered for winning the Open at Royal Portrush in 1951 as the championship returned to Northern Ireland for the first time since then, Jon Rahm also linked his name with that of the flamboyant Englishman. Not since Faulkner in 1952 and 1953 had somebody successfully defended the title at the Mutuactivos Open de Espana, but Rahm followed his win at the Centro Nacional in 2018 with a repeat victory across Madrid at Club de Campo.

Rahm, who won the Irish Open for the second time in three years earlier in the season, cruised to a five-stroke victory over Rafa Cabrera Bello with Samuel Del Val, in third place, Adri Arnaus, who tied for fourth, and Sergio Garcia, who shared seventh place, also representing the host country at the top of the leaderboard.

A fifth victory on the European Tour arrived for the 24-year-old Rahm in his 39th start on the circuit, 10 fewer than it took Seve Ballesteros to post the same number of wins at the start of his career. After rounds of 66 and 67, Rahm went five clear of Cabrera Bello with a 63 in the third round. He then eagled the fourth hole of the final round before adding four birdies, with his only dropped shot coming at the 17th. A 66 gave Rahm a 22-under-par total of 262, while Cabrera Bello, who was unable to put any pressure on the leader in the early stages, finished with five birdies in the last six holes for his own 66.

“I’m not happy I three-putted 17, I wanted to go bogey-free, but at the end of the day, I did the important thing,” Rahm said. “I was able to successfully defend it and in front of a home crowd as well. To play this weekend for them is always really fun. I can’t wait to come back next year and hopefully we’ll make it three times.”


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