Jon Rahm realised a boy-hood dream by becoming the world No 1 golfer following his brilliant victory at the Memorial tournament. Rahm overtakes Rory McIlroy as the top player in the world following a 3-shot win at Muirfield Village Golf Club and becomes the second ever Spaniard after Seve Ballesteros to hold the top spot.
Rahm had to overcame a late scare on 16 when he was handed a two-shot penalty, which he didn’t know about until after the round, to claim his fourth PGA Tour victory.
The 25-year-old put on a remarkable showing to finish 9-under par with those in share of tenth on even par for the four rounds.
Rahm shot three over on the final day to sign for a 75 but finished three clear of Ryan Palmer, and had been five ahead before the 16th which he thought he’d chipped in for a two only to be changed back to par after the ball rolled before he struck it.
McIlroy finished T32 on four over after a final day final day 78 to hand Rahm top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” said Rahm. “It’s been a goal since I was 13-, 14-years-old.
“I remember I heard a story on the radio from my swing coach back in Spain, Eduardo Celles. We were driving somewhere and he asked me what my goals were and my ambitions and this and that, and I remember telling him I’m going to be the best player in the world.”
He added: “I stay on competition mode for a little longer than I would like sometimes, and I process things so much later. I’ll probably wake up tomorrow morning and still not have it processed.
“I’m incredibly proud to sit here and be the Memorial tournament champion, win an event on the PGA Tour four years in a row, number one in the world.
“There’s a lot of accomplishments today that are hard to believe I’ve done so early in my career.”
On the incident at 16 which cost him two shots he said: “As unfortunate as it is to have this happen, it was a great shot, serious.
“What it goes to show is you never know what’s going to happen.
“So I’m glad I grinded those last two up-and-downs because had I missed both of them, plus the penalty stroke, maybe Ryan finishes strong, I would be in a playoff, and I’m glad I finished it off good.
“But it did move, so I’ll accept the penalty, and it still doesn’t change the outcome of the tournament.”
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