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The Open next target after Rahm raider nets £900k Portstewart pot

 

By Phil Casey

Spain's Jon Rahm set his sights on winning The Open Championship after storming to a resounding victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, his second win in just his 25th event as a professional.

Rahm fired two eagles and five birdies in a closing 65 at Portstewart Golf Club to finish a tournament-record 24 under par, six shots clear of Richie Ramsay and Matthew Southgate.

His heroics earned a £900,000 top prize from a record £5.5m prize fund, the biggest winning pot in the 90-year history of the event, which now moves on to Ballyliffin in Donegal next year, again backed by the Rory Foundation.

The biggest danger to the 22-year-old came in the shape of a possible penalty for incorrectly replacing his ball on the sixth green, but after being cleared of any wrongdoing by chief referee Andy McFee on the 13th, Rahm promptly holed from 30 feet for an eagle on the next.

Rahm only turned professional in June last year but claimed his first PGA Tour title at Torrey Pines in January and will climb to a career-high eighth in the updated world rankings.

"The trophy is right next to me and my name is going to be there forever now, but it seems hard to believe that it's happened," Rahm said.

"I just look at it and I see Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam, Seve (Ballesteros). That's a list of the greatest European Tour players ever and to have my name next to it, and the last one, Rory McIlroy, it's so special."

Belfast Telegraph

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