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Jon Rahm reigns in Spain as he matches Seve Ballesteros after final-round fireworks
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Jon Rahm reigns in Spain as he matches Seve Ballesteros after final-round fireworks

Jon Rahm put on a stunning display to win the 2022 acciona Open de España presented by Madrid and delight the fans who had turned out to watch him match the great Seve Ballesteros.

Rahm

Like Ballesteros, Rahm is now a three-time winner of his national Open after striding clear of his rivals with a nine-under-par 62 in his final round at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.

Rahm's fireworks took him to 25 under, with Matthieu Pavon next best on 19 under after a 65 and Min Woo Lee a further shot back after closing with a 68.

Lee was a shot behind overnight and said he hoped the fans would be treated to a show but Rahm made sure the rest of the field were little more than a supporting cast.

He settled any early nerves with a 16-footer to save par at the first then got going with a birdie at the second after an approach from 100 yards to tap-in range.

He holed from 50 feet at the sixth for birdie and gained another shot at the par-five seventh, after a lovely chip from the rough, to stay one ahead after playing partner Lee had brielfy caught him at the summit with an eagle at the same hole.

Rahm

Rahm curled in a 14-footer at the short ninth to reach four under for his round and hold a two-shot lead again and the chasing pack, still led by Lee, were up against it.

They were given a glimmer of hope when Rahm's drive at the tenth sat down in the thick stuff off to the right. He was angry with himself but will have been pleased with the testing seven-footer he stroked home for par.

At the par-three 11th, both players left themselves huge putts across the green for birdie and Rahm watched Lee's, from over 50 feet, finish close enough for a guaranteed par before stepping up and draining his own from 35 feet to extend his advantage to three shots.

The cushion came in handy at the 12th, Rahm's drive finished deep in the trees on the left and led to a bogey - his first dropped shot since the 11th hole on Friday.

But normal service was resumed at the 13th, Rahm's drive splitting the fairway and a flick from just over 100 yards to seven feet setting up his sixth birdie of the day.

There was little Lee could do and it was all but over when they walked off the 14th. Rahm almost managed an albatross, only the pace of the ball kept it from dropping when his second shot, from the rough more than 200 yards away, hammered into the bottom of the pin and skidded off. But an eagle and Lee's bogey meant the gap was six shots with four holes to play.

Two birdies in his final three holes took Pavon above Lee but it was all about Rahm and he finished with a flourish, birdies at 17 and 18 adding the gloss to his eighth DP World Tour victory.

Asked how special it was, Rahm, who won this event in 2018 and 2019, said: "You might need to ask me in a few days because I take quite a while to process these things.

"It was the goal coming in; Seve is a great hero of mine and to do something he took his whole career to do in just a few years is quite humbling.

"It’s emotional. Going up the 18th hole I knew what was about to happen and to get it done like that, I can’t describe it.

"He (Seve) wasn’t really somebody I really thought of that much until I got better at golf, because obviously I wasn’t good until I was like 13 or 14 and when I started getting better, I learned a lot about him and what he did.

"I’ve spoken many times about how that 1997 Ryder Cup and Seve making the win that week, some friends of my dad’s started me playing golf otherwise who knows what else I’d be and I’m here because of that alone, and everything else is down to the path that he’s paved for so many of us."

On the support from his family, Rahm said: "My lowest round, my lowest score out here, it was pretty much a perfect week and the only thing that would make it better was if my wife and kids were here. It was the first one, the newest one with Eneko so I’m glad that’s it’s certainly after each kid that I’ve won a tournament, but I have a lot of family here I don’t see throughout the year."