Flashback to Jon Rahm's 2017 DP World Tour Championship success
By Mike Patterson
Last Updated: 12/11/18 4:23pm
Jon Rahm won last year's DP World Tour Championship to claim his second Rolex Series title. We take a look back at the Spaniard's 2017 victory at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai...
Much of the talk ahead of the tournament centred on the Race to Dubai, with Tommy Fleetwood entering the final week of the season in pole position, although Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia were also still in contention.
Rose, bidding to follow up wins in China and Turkey, fired a 66 in the opening round to lead the projected rankings after Fleetwood could only manage a one-over 73, while Garcia signed for a 70.
But it was American Patrick Reed who set the early pace on seven under thanks to a bogey-free 65 with Rose and Australian Scott Hend one behind, while defending Matthew Fitzpatrick was among a group of six players one shot further back.
Rahm kicked off his campaign with a three-under 69 to sit four off the lead.
Fitzpatrick carded a second successive 67 in the second round to take the halfway lead on 10 under, one ahead of Tyrrell Hatton, who stormed through the field with a 63.
Rose could only manage a two-under 70, with a closing bogey dropping him into a share of third place with Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Julian Suri.
That also put Fleetwood back ahead in his pursuit of the Harry Vardon trophy after he had fired a 65 earlier in the day to move to six under.
Rahm, Hend, Reed, Paul Dunne and Soren Kjeldsen were all on seven under after 36 holes, although Rahm's back nine was a sign of things to come as he came home in 31 with five birdies for a 68.
Rahm started his third round with a bogey but then rattled in eight birdies for a seven-under 65, although he was upstaged by South African Dylan Frittelli, whose flawless 63 secured him a share of second place with the Spaniard on 14 under.
But all eyes were now on Rose as he claimed a one-shot lead going into the final round with a 65 of his own.
A victory would guarantee him the Race to Dubai crown, although Fleetwood was also firmly back in contention after playing the back nine in 30 for a second successive 65 which gave him a share of fourth place on 13 under with Aphibarnrat and South African Dean Burmester.
Overnight leader Fitzpatrick could only manage a level-par 72 as he slipped off the pace.
The final round produced plenty of drama but after 11 holes it appeared as though Rose was safely on course for a double success with a two-shot cushion and three under for the day.
But he bogeyed three of the next five holes to slip out of the top-five position he needed to win the Race to Dubai as Rahm emerged from the chasing pack to lead the tournament.
With Fleetwood looking on from the clubhouse after a scrappy 74 left him out of the top 20 on 11 under, Rose needed to hole from the front fringe for eagle at the 72nd hole to snatch the Harry Vardon trophy.
But his brave effort from around 80 feet drifted left of the target and, although he holed for birdie, a four-way share of fourth place was not enough to displace Fleetwood from the top of the standings.
Rahm, meanwhile, came home in 33 with three birdies for a flawless 67 to finish on 19 under and secure a one-shot success from Aphibarnrat (67) and Ireland's Shane Lowry (63).
Rose finished alongside Burmester, Frittelli and Garcia, who closed with a 65, in fourth place on 17 under.
"I'm extremely honoured and humbled to join my name to the winners of this event. They are all great players, some of them are European Tour legends, so it's just great to join them and get my chance to put my name on that great trophy," said European Tour Rookie of the Year Rahm following his victory.