Jon Rahm may spend much of his time on the PGA Tour but in preparation for The Open at Royal Birkdale, he is making use of his European Tour card in impressive style. First came his strong T-10th at the French Open. It was a strong debut on the European Tour but the links of Portstewart would act as the ideal preparation for what awaits in Southport.
So how did Rahm find his second European Tour event? Well, to put it mildly, he destroyed the Irish Open leaving big names in his wake. It is no wonder that in his meteoric rise up the rankings has made so many heads turn. With the Irish Open now added to his ever growing trophy cabinet, the Spaniard will enter the world’s top 10 tomorrow. Not bad considering he entered the professional just over a year ago.
Rounds of 65-67-67-65 meant that Rahm won the Irish Open at a canter, a full six shots clear of second-placed Richie Ramsey and Matthew Southgate. Even when Rahm looked in trouble he proved that his scrambling abilities were just as sounds as everything else he has to offer. The second hole of his final round is a testament to that.
All in all, it shows a player who is confident on any type of course, on any tour and against any opposition. It bodes well for Rahm as he prepares for the Open Championship. At Royal Troon last year he finished in a tie for 59th. Something tells me that he will improve on that on the links of Southport.
There was, of course, an element of controversy. Marking his ball on the 6th it appeared that he replaced it incorrectly by some watching. Whilst some were expecting a penalty a la Lexi, but it went unchallenged by rules officials. Perhaps that’s the way it should be where officials make the calls rather than the public.
However, with the exception of that, it was a commanding performance by Rahm. I’m sure the bookies and tipsters have taken notice ahead of the Open Championship.