Rahm upbeat over Open chances after thrilling Irish Open victory

Ross Houston
July 9, 2019

With a brilliant 62, the 24-year-old overhauled a five-shot deficit to win his second Irish Open in three years.

Following on from his success in 2017 at Portstewart, the Spaniard carded eight birdies and an eagle to earn his fourth European Tour title - becoming the first player to win three Rolex Series events.

Overnight leader Robert Rock will also be at Royal Portrush after a level-par round proved sufficient for a share of fourth place with Eddie Pepperell and Rafael Cabrera Bello.

England's Andy Sullivan put up a good fight for the title to finish in second, shooting a final-round 66 to finish 14 under, but Rahm's superb display comfortably saw him off.

"I knew I had to do it today to have a chance and I kept looking at the leaderboard and looking up and after 10, I'm like, "okay, let's get a good run" and that eagle on 12 just completely got me going". Seve [Ballesteros] is the only Spanish player to have won this event twice, so it's very special to add my name to the trophy again. Down golfer on track for one of three spots available tomorrow for The Open Championship at Royal Portrush. He was soon passed by the rampaging Rahm, and fell away by bogeying four of the first six holes of the back nine.

Rock's 10-under effort, scored in persistent rain on the Atlantic coast, even had a bogey amongst 11 birdies and 10 years after losing a famous play-off to then-amateur Shane Lowry at Baltray in the 2009 Irish Open, he came inches away from carding a 59.

"I knew I had to do something unbelievable today to have a chance and that eagle on 12 got me going". Me and Adam did a lot of work over the weekend to polish the mistakes over the first few days. "And that eagle on 12 just got me going". I think that shows the work I've done off the course in terms of staying patient and not letting shots get me down.

"My target was 15 under and I never thought I d get to 16 under without a birdie on the last but I m definitely thrilled with the back nine".

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