Jon Rahm delighted with home title defence at Open de Espana
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 06/10/19 6:34pm
Jon Rahm has already set his sights on a Spanish three-peat after successfully defending his Open de Espana title with a five-shot victory in Madrid.
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Rahm became the fastest Spaniard to reach five European Tour victories and moved top of the Race to Dubai standings after a dominant display on home soil.
The world No 5 took a five-stroke lead into the final day and extended his advantage with an eagle and four birdies, with a penultimate-hole bogey his only blemish in a five-under 66.
"I'm not happy I three-putted 17," Rahm said. "I wanted to go bogey-free, but at the end of the day I did the important thing, I was able to successfully defend it in front of the home crowd.
"It might not be the strongest field yet but it's always really hard for me to keep everything under control and to play the weekend that I did for them is always really fun.
"I can't wait for next year to come back and hopefully do it three times. The crowd was unlike anything else. Spanish crowds love golf and they love us coming back.
"I play a lot of tournaments throughout the year that don't get this much attendance, so it shows how much Spain wants golf, how much they want more events and how much they enjoy it. It's great for the game of golf, it's great for Spain and hopefully it can only get bigger."
Rahm's closest challenge came from Rafa Cabrera Bello, who opened with 12 consecutive pars on the final day before finishing his bogey-free 66 with five birdies in his closing six holes.
"I would have liked to get some birdies early to put some pressure on Jon, but that didn't happen today," Rahm said. "I had to hang in there, fight for the second spot and I was very pleased that the birdies came at the end.
"He already had a big lead from the start. You could see that cut in half after three or four holes and it changes your perspective - but that didn't happen, it went the other way."
Once he eagled four, seven shots was a commanding lead. It was his tournament to lose and he played great. All I could do was focus on my ball, try to finish second and I managed to do that."