Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Jon Rahm WITB: 2018 Open de España

Jon Rahm WITB: 2018 Open de España

A closing 67 at Centro Nacional de Golf for a 20-under-par total gave the 23-year-old a two-shot victory from overnight leader Paul Dunne (71), with another Spaniard, Nacho Elvira, a further shot adrift in third.

Paul Dunne has moved up to a career-high 68th in the world following his second-placed finish to John Rahm at the Open de Espana.

In addition to his stellar driving, Rahm carded 21 birdies and two eagles set up by his superior iron and wedge play.

Another birdie at the second put him right in the frame for his third European Tour win.

"It's such a satisfying feeling", Rahm said after a round that featured just one blemish - a nervous three-putt at the ninth that he erased by chipping in for birdie at the 10th. "It's truly been the hardest Sunday I've ever had in any tournament that I've won because the crowd wanted it so much and I wanted it so much". I felt that tension, I felt that stress, I felt everything magnified.

"I'm just happy to play the way I did and to get it done", Rahm said after his victory.

Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter, who snatched a late place at the Masters Tournament following his play-off triumph at the Houston Open on the US PGA Tour earlier this month, was in contention for a second victory of the season at the RBC Heritage in SC as he approached the back nine just one shot off the lead. "To win this as a pro and do this for them and the Spanish people feels great".

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Rahm played a attractive chip at the first to set up a birdie and when he hit a huge drive on the second to set up another gain, he was in a share of the lead with Dunne.

It was also his first victory as a professional in his homeland.

Dunne, the British Masters champion, was "disappointed" to miss out on a second European Tour victory but, at the same time, expressed his delight for the victor.

Dunne dropped a shot on the 11th after leaving himself in a nasty spot with his second and when Rahm hit a huge drive up the 13th and got up and down from 12 feet, the lead was two shots for the first time in the round.

Elvira was tied with Rahm standing on the par-3 17th tee and while both hit less than ideal tee shots Elvira's found water while Rahm's held up in a patch of long grass.

The Spaniard, who's now the World number four, claimed a two-shot victory after carding a closing 67 to move 20 under for the tournament.

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