It wasn’t a glittering final day by any stretches of the imagination. There was no constant flutter of birdies or low scores. No cutting through the field at a rampant pace.
Nevertheless, Jon Rahm moved to No1 in the world rankings for the first time in his career, joining Seve Ballesteros as the only Spaniard to reach the top spot since 1989.
It is a tremendous feat for the Barrika native, his play from the tee a huge asset to his success along with his passion, skill and experience.
He began the final round with a four-shot lead and increased that to eight with nine holes remaining.
However, late drama saw his advantage shrink to three before sealing his fourth PGA Tour win.
A brilliant chip in from 30-feet on the 16th saw his lead restored to four with two to play. He was later handed a two-shot penalty when his ball moved while addressing the shot.
Rahm closed with a three-over 75 for a three-shot triumph over Ryan Palmer, the highest final round score at the Memorial since 1976.
It was the 10th victory of his career and moves him ahead of Rory McIlroy in top spot.
The Northern Irishman tied for 32nd – 13 strokes behind his former Ryder Cup teammate on four-over par.
Rahm was outstanding from tee to green in Ohio, gaining 15.5 strokes on the field. It’s that part of his game that is a significant asset to his locker.
His 3.87 strokes gained tee to green per round at the Memorial were the most in a single event in his PGA Tour career.
It capped off a fine weekend for the 25-year-old after tough few weeks since the season resumed on June 11.
In his four starts before lining up at Muirfield Village, he failed to finish inside the top-20 at any of the events. He only had five finishes outside the top-20 in the whole of 2019.
Nevertheless, he captures top spot a little more than four years after turning professional – the third-fastest a player has risen to number one after becoming pro.
All pro golfers dream of being number one. Whether you are 450th or number five ranked in the world, everyone wants to taste that feeling of being the best player. Only few are lucky enough to experience that feeling.
Rahm has achieved a lot at his young age – he does not turn 26 until November – and will only get better as the years go on.
Constant contention at tournaments and a thirst to always improve has been at the centre of his personality. Traits that are sure to bear fruit eventually.
He is a proven winner and continues to make strides in his physical and mental game while climbing up the rankings.
Sergio Garica may be Spain’s last major winner, but with power off the tee and a magical short game, Rahm has the potential to summon the spirit of Seve and be the next Spanish great on the major stage.
Whether that happens this year or next, it is only a matter of time before Rahm lifts one of golf’s most coveted titles.
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