Jon Rahm wins after 'hardest Sunday ever'

Jon Rahm wins after 'hardest Sunday ever'

As Rahm closed with a five-under 67 to win his third European Tour title on 20-under par and become only the sixth Spanish victor since 1972, Dunne had to console himself with a late birdie that denied Spain's Nacho Elvira a share of second at the Centro Nacional de Golf.

Bidding to become the first wire-to-wire victor since Neil Coles in 1973, the Greystones star (25) had to make a 10-footer for birdie at 18th just to finish two shots behind the conquering home hero.

He had been hunting a first title as an expert a year ago, to grow his two previous European Tour wins in Dublin and Dubai.

Rahm went in to the final round two strokes off the pace, but mixed six birdies with a sole blemish on Sunday to join the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Sergio Garcia as winners of their home event.

Elvira finished third at three shots behind Rahm.

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The 23-year-old sneaked ahead overall after the fourth hole before Elvira got his nose in front with an eagle on the fifth. "To round my amateur and pro career together in this way and win the last one I had to win and join that prestigious list of Spanish winners, it's hard to explain how good it feels and how satisfying it is".

That left Dunne or even Elvira needing an albatross on the 18th to induce a tie an order with Dunne having a birdie into pip the Spaniard to location.

"It's been incredible", Rahm noted. "It's probably the hardest Sunday I've ever had to play because the amount of crowds I was carrying". You can tell how excited everybody is. They were pushing me so hard and I felt that. I tried to isolate myself, but I could feel it. "They payed a huge part, I came for them mainly so I'm just glad I can win this one for the Spanish people".

Dunne made a birdie after a nice chip on the par five to get back to 17 under but Rahm moved away from him again, leaving himself a flick in and holing from four feet for a birdie on the seventh. "Spain has a great champion in Jon and I'm sure he'll win many more", said the Irishman. Since the beginning of 2017, though, only Thomas has won more on the two main tours than Rahm - with both players now absolute locks to make their Ryder Cup debuts at Le Golf National in September. Martin Laird and Russell Knox ended up 32nd and 40th respectively.

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