Rahm Now Looking To Emulate Seve In Also Winning The Open.

Spanish powerhouse sensation Jon Rahm brilliantly emulated legendary fellow countrymen Seve Ballasteros in capturing the Irish Open and now he is looking to do the same at next week’s Open Championship.

Rahm has moved to Number 8 on the World Rankings following his dramatic six stroke success at Portstewart.

The  22-year old, and in only his first full season on both the European and PGA Tour’s, is now just three places on the rankings being fellow Spaniard and reigning Masters Champion, Sergio Garcia, and remarkably in only 25 events as a pro.

And Rahm’s victory in the Rory McIlroy hosted Irish event has now also moved him into favouritism to become only the second Spanish-born golfer after Ballesteros to win golf’s oldest Major that commences on July 2oth at Royal Birkdale.

Jon Rahm embraces the Irish Open trophy. Image .. www.europeantour.com

“I said at the beginning of the week of the Irish, even before the tournament started, that I haven’t played my best golf on links golf courses,” Rahm said.

“There was always something else. And to play the way I did here, it proves to me I can perform properly on a links golf course.

“And that’s what I’ve got to take to The Open. I know now that I have what it takes.

“Before that, there was a little bit of doubt in my mind but now I know that I have what it takes to win a tournament on a links golf course.

“The Open Championship, it’s a little different deal just because a major championship will be set up probably harder than this week was.

“But nevertheless, I know I can read the putts right, and I know I can interpret the wind and I can hit the shots and I can manage myself around the golf course properly enough to have a chance to win The Open.

Seve won three Open Championships and now Jon Rahm looks to emulate his hero

“Will that happen? I don’t know. But I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed this week”.

While Rahm found himself soon after his win first having to deal with the issue of explaining his actions on the sixth green in marking his ball, and an issue he was later exonerated of any blame, he then spoke of the inspiration he gleaned from Ballesteros, who also endeared himself to Irish golf fans winning the event on three occasions.

“Seve is the reason why I’m playing golf”, he said.

“If it wasn’t for that Ryder Cup in Spain, my father would have never started to play golf. If he had never started, I would have never picked it up.

“Nobody in my family did up until Seve put it on the map in Spain with that Ryder Cup in ’97, I believe.

“He is the greatest legend a country can have. He broke so many barriers. He was told he couldn’t do so many things. At my age, he won Augusta. He was the first European to win at Augusta. He won it twice. I mean, at the age of 20 and 21, he won The Open Championship.

“So, he would have been sitting right here as a two-time Major Champion, that’s something unbelievable, even in those times.

“And to do it in the fashion that he did, he is such a role model for any aspect of the game, all we can do is try to emulate.

“Nobody will ever be like Seve. Nobody will ever be like Seve, but we can try to pick and choose things from Seve.

“Not his driving; but things like his short game, his character, the way he brought people together, the way he transformed golf in Europe and worldwide.

“It’s all things that we try to copy. It’s really hard to do, but if we can do it in a small measure, it’s worth it.”

Ballesteros won the Open Championship on three occasions in 1979, 1984 and 1988.

And now also like Garcia after winning the Masters earlier this year, Rahm is returning home this week to Spain triumphant and also as the third Spaniard on the European to do so this season after Alvaro Quiros captured in May the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily.

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