Spain’s Jon Rahm fired a superb final round of 65 at Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open by six shots from Richie Ramsay and Matthew Southgate.
Jon Rahm started the final day at Portstewart tied for the lead with Daniel Im of the USA but he moved ahead early with some spectacular play. On the par-5 4th he holed his third shot from some 150 yards for a spectacular eagle. He moved three ahead with another gain at the par-5 7th and the advantage was extended to five after further birdies on the 8th and 9th holes.
The back nine was something of a procession for Rahm and he was in such a comfortable position that two dropped shots in his last three holes were of no consequence. He finished on 24-under-par and claimed his maiden European Tour title. He joined Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia on the list of Spanish winners of the Irish Open.
“It’s such a great honour now just to be part of the history of this event,” said Rahm. “Such a great country, such a great history in the tournament and such a great golf course. To me it’s such a great week, it really is special for me to share it with three of my heroes.”
Richie Ramsay of Scotland also closed with a 65 to climb the board and end the week in a tie for second place with England’s Matthew Southgate. Justin Rose, David Drysdale and Ryan Fox shared fourth.
3 Talking points from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
1 – This was Jon Rahm’s first European Tour win but it wasn’t without incident. When four clear on the 13th hole, there was a query about how the Spaniard had marked his ball on the 6th green. He had to move his marker to get out of the way of playing partner Daniel Im’s ball but, when he replaced his ball he did so ahead of the spot instead of alongside it as he had marked it. But it was decided there should be no penalty and Rahm went on to win by six shots. With the win Rahm will move back inside the top-10 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
2 – It was a good week for Scottish players Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale. Both finished well at Portstewart, with rounds of 65 and 63 respectively. Both earned places in The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale as a result. The final open spot on offer went to Ryan Fox of New Zealand.
3 – Justin Rose showed good form in Northern Ireland. The Englishman played four under-par rounds to end the week tied fourth. He will take a good deal of confidence into The Open at Birkdale – the course where he burst onto the scene as a teenage amateur in the championship of 1998.
Justin Rose swing sequence:
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation
Portstewart GC, Northern Ireland
Purse: $7,000,000 Par: 72
1 Jon Rahm (Esp) 65 67 67 65 264 €1,019,362
T2 Richie Ramsay (Sco) 68 70 67 65 270 €531,223
T2 Matthew Southgate (Eng) 65 68 71 66 270 €531,223
T4 David Drysdale (Sco) 66 69 73 63 271 €240,672
T4 Ryan Fox (NZ) 67 66 70 68 271 €240,672
T4 Justin Rose (Eng) 67 70 66 68 271 €240,672
T4 Daniel Im (USA) 64 67 68 72 271 €240,672
T8 Julien Quesne (Fra) 70 68 64 70 272 €144,954
T8 Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 64 67 69 72 272 €144,954
T10 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 67 68 68 273 €113,353
T10 Oliver Fisher (Eng) 65 68 70 70 273 €113,353
T10 Hideto Tanihara (Jap) 70 65 66 72 273 €113,353
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage