Jon Rahm confident for Dubai double after lengthy break from golf
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 20/11/19 12:23pm
Jon Rahm feels refreshed and confident after a lengthy break from golf as he attempts to win both the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai crown this week.
Rahm has not competed since landing his second title of the season on home soil at the Spanish Open six weeks ago, but he still has a genuine chance to end the campaign as European No 1 despite his extended absence.
The world No 5 lies third in the Race to Dubai standings ahead of the grand finale at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, where he pipped Shane Lowry and Kiradech Aphibarnrat to the title two years ago, and his course form and record in the Rolex Series events ensure he will be full of confidence on the first tee on Thursday.
"I love Dubai, I love the golf course and I love the tournament," said Rahm, who will defend his Hero World Challenge crown in the Bahamas next month before preparing for his wedding. "It's nice to actually be here and having a chance to win The Race to Dubai if I take care of business this week, which I haven't had before.
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"I've had six weeks off since my last competitive round, but it was a little break that I needed. I just decided to rest more than practice and travel around the world, and it's the first time I've done that in a very long time, so I really don't know how it's going to go.
"I'm hoping it's going to be good, I am feeling good, feeling rested and looking forward to the week," added Rahm, who admitted he did not step foot on a course or a practice range for a month after winning his home open by five shots over compatriot Rafa Cabrera Bello.
"I didn't touch a club for a month, but honestly, I needed it." he said. "After Spain, I stayed home for a week and then it was three more weeks in Arizona where I truly didn't even step on a golf course.
"With the year we have coming up, it was more like a future thing, knowing that with me getting married in Christmas, and the year we're going to have, I needed a break at some point, and I feel like that was the only time I could get a break to recharge a little bit and make sure I'm going to be fresh for next year."
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Rahm needs a minimum of a two-way tie for second to have a chance to overhaul Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger, and the Spaniard is happy just to be still in contention following his time off.
"I'd rather be first, but I was fortunate enough to be able to take a lot of important weeks off and still have a chance to win the Race to Dubai," he said. "I know even though it was a smaller event, winning in Spain was important in that sense.
"I'd rather be the front man, honestly, but you don't necessarily have to win. You just need to play good. But I'm here to win, and hopefully I just get it done and not have to think about possible consequences about it."