Wednesday, 17 July 2019
Jon Rahm  (Getty Images)
Jon Rahm (Getty Images)

Jon Rahm will be taking inspiration from the great Seve Ballesteros when he goes in search of a third win on the island of Ireland at The Open Championship.

Ballesteros' second place finish at the oldest Major Championship in 1976 set the Spaniard on course for superstardom and over the next 21 years he would be a trailblazer for European golf, culminating in being a victorious Ryder Cup captain in his homeland.

He would lift the Claret Jug three times and while no other Spaniard has achieved the feat yet, Rahm could be well positioned at Royal Portrush Golf Club.

The World Number Eight claimed a Rolex Series victory just four miles down the road at Portstewart Golf Club in 2017 and sealed another links victory in lifting that trophy again two weeks ago south of the border at Lahinch Golf Club.

And while Rahm admits he is unlikely to emulate the swashbuckling, scrambling style of the late, great Ballesteros, he is taking heart from rewatching his successes.

"I've seen as much as you can find in YouTube, really," he said. "The inspiration, there's a lot to look up to. 

"None of the game play that I would like to emulate, really. I don't think I have the talent to do what he did, to play the way he did. Although honestly, I don't care how it looks, if it looks pretty or not, as long as I win the event. So however you can get it done.

"It's an event that's really important as a European and as a Spaniard and it would be really incredible to do something that great players after him haven't been able to do at The Open. 

"(José María) Olazábal came close quite a few times, Sergio (Garcia) has come close quite a few times. It would be an honour to be the next Spanish player to win an Open. I would very much love to."

As a Spaniard and it would be really incredible to do something that great players after him haven't been able to do at The Open - Jon Rahm

Having won both north and south of the Irish border, Rahm has an undeniable affinity with the Emerald Isle and he believes this week will feel like being home from home.

"The first time I played in Portstewart two years ago, the Irish crowd were treating me very, very specially. I've had a great support and it's the closest I'll ever feel to playing at home, without being at home, really. That's what I think makes it so special.

"Spanish people have a lot of pride about the country of Spain and, being Basque, Basque people have a lot of pride in being Basque, especially in my city. I think Northern Irish people are really proud of their country and to be where they're from. I feel that's a similarity and a similar feel.

"When I'm walking around my hometown in Spain, for the most part of the year we get similar weather, summer is a little bit better. We're right on the coast, fishing villages. It's just a very similar feel to what I had growing up so it's a lot of home feel too, without being at home."

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