Rahm rockets to Hero World Challenge victory

Tanya Simon
December 5, 2018

From the moment he stepped onto the first tee on his pro debut back in June 2016, a week after finishing T-23 in his last event as an amateur at the US Open, Jon Rahm had "class and talent" written all over him.

The episode wasn't lost on either Woods or Rahm on Sunday at the Hero World Challenge, where the Spaniard rolled to a four-shot victory at Albany, which has Bermuda grass greens.

His nearest rival, Tony Finau, who looked like taking it to the wire, stuttered around the turn and then faltered badly with a double bogey on 14 and in Rahm's words, "That was a killer".

"This entire year has been fantastic", Woods said after the tournament.

Justin Rose, needing to finish in a three-way tie for second to return to No. 1 in the world, closed with a 65 and was in position to go back to the top of the ranking until Finau rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt for a 69 to finish alone in second. Rose needed to be in at least a three-way tie for second. But the knock-on implications meant that Rose was denied the chance of taking back the World No.1 spot from Brooks Koepka, who opted not to play in the Bahamas.

Rahm had 25 and Cantlay 22 for a total of 47, which raised $23,500 for California Strong, which is helping families affected by the California wildfires.

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It is Rahm's third victory of 2018, the second straight year in which the 24-year-old has won three events worldwide. Rahm grew up on poa annua greens, still isn't entirely comfortable on Bermuda and asked Woods for advice. "Under slow-motion and high def you can see the ball did hit the clubface twice, but in real time I didn't feel that at all".

"Yeah, in hindsight. I made a six there, one bad swing can do that on any hole and that's what happened".

It was both fun and learning for him. He said, "I also use it as a learning curve because you can learn all these great things that all these great players have done, and use them for yourself. I love the game and it's great to watch all those things".

Summing up his year, Rahm said, "As I said, this year was not so much about golf, it was about me as a person, so to win as many times as I did last year, it just shows that when I get into contention, to me nothing else matters".

"He was putting next to me and I asked him, because I'm not the best putter on Bermuda grass and I know it's kind of amusing to say that now", Rahm said. That was just too much for my body to handle and I was not physically prepared for it.

"I somehow turned it around and got rolling a little bit to get to even par for the day somehow". "As soon as I got in the lead, my mind was still forward". I've kept saying it the same way.

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