Jon Rahm justifies six-week break from golf with Race to Dubai win
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 24/11/19 3:15pm
Jon Rahm believes making the decision to take a six-week break from competitive golf helped him win the DP World Tour Championship and end the season as European No 1.
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Rahm let a six-shot lead slip during a dramatic final day at Jumeriah Golf Estates, only to birdie the last and snatch a one-shot victory over Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood.
A four-under 68 saw Rahm end the week on 19 under and secure a sixth European Tour title in just his 40th start, with the world No 5 earning $3m for winning the tournament and a further $2m for topping the season-long Race to Dubai standings.
Rahm claims Dubai double
Report and highlights from Jon Rahm's dramatic victory at the DP World Tour Championship.
Rahm's appearance was his first start since winning the Open de Espana on home soil in early October, with the Spaniard believing his time off was a factor behind his latest victory.
"I needed that break mentally and physically," Rahm said. "Luckily, I was No 1 in the Race to Dubai at that point, so I could afford not playing some weeks.
"It was a risk. I thought I was going to come in [to the week] fifth or sixth place, needing a win to win it all, and luckily I was in third with more possibilities.
"I never regretted it [the time off], and I'm glad I did it because I came here much more calm and with a much better frame of mind. Very relaxed and very rested, both mentally and physically.
"I think that showed this week. Towards the end, I had the energy to keep going, keep fighting, and I think I attribute that to me being able to win."
The 25-year-old is just the second Spanish player after Seve Ballesteros to finish the year as European No 1, with Rahm emotional about matching his hero's achievement.
"I've thought about it all week," Rahm said. "I've thought about it the last two hours. I've thought about it as soon as I made the putt. But it still hasn't processed in my mind.
"It's really so hard to believe that some of the greatest champions in European golf and Spanish golf haven't been able to accomplish what I have in just three years. That's what I can't really put my mind into.
"Sergio (Garcia) has been a great Spanish champion for years, a major winner. Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal) is a two-time major winner. Miguel Angel (Jimenez) has done a great job, as well.
"So many great players throughout the history of Spain that have had a chance and they didn't get it done. It's just hard to put that in perspective to know that since Seve, I'm the next one to get it done."