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Mutuactivos Open de España: The Debrief

Mutuactivos Open de España: The Debrief

Jon Rahm masterminded a superb defence of his Mutuactivos Open de España title as he cruised to a five shot victory in Madrid.


The home hero shone in front of large crowds at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid as Spaniards dominated the leaderboard.

Here is everything you need to know from the enthralling event.

Rahm romps to Madrid win

Rahm had set his sights on breaking milestones with a successful defence in Madrid and he produced just that in emphatic fashion as the 24-year-old claimed his fifth European Tour title. In claiming victory in his homeland, Rahm became the fastest Spaniard to reach five European Tour crowns, achieving the feat in just 39 events and surpassing the late, great Seve Ballesteros' record of 49 events. It was even more emotional for Rahm as it came at the same venue as Ballesteros' 50th and final victory in 1995, with the World Number Five also moving to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex. He also became the first player to successfully defend the Mutuactivos Open de España crown since Max Faulkner in 1953.

Unknown Del Val shines in spotlight

Spaniard Samuel Del Val was a relative unknown in his homeland before last week but he has catapulted himself into the spotlight after a stunning third place finish. The 32-year-old does not have a playing card anywhere in the world and began the event ranked World Number 1,413. The home championship was just his fifth European Tour start of his career - where he earned just 8,100 euros in total. But he dispelled his lowly ranking for his best performance, shooting up to 659th in the Official World Golf Rankings and earning a nice cheque of 93,900 euros. Del Val said after his final round: "I’m really happy with the performance. I’m not a European Tour member so I won’t get a spot next week. But I need a break. I’ve been playing a lot of golf, my legs need a break and I’m excited to sleep in my own bed after four months – see my girlfriend and my dog. I’ll get ready for the Q Schools – this gives me a lot of confidence to keep going and it feels like a reward for my hard work."

Spaniards enjoy home comforts

Some players crumbled under the expectations of a home tournament but that theory was thrown out of the window at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid as five Spaniards finished inside the top 12. Rafa Cabrera Bello was five shots adrift in second at 17 under, while Del Val joined his compatriots at the top of the leaderboard in solo third at 15 under. Adri Arnaus finished in a tie for fourth at 13 under and 2017 Masters Tournament winner Sergio Garcia one shot further back in a tie for seventh.

Arnaus' great cause

Arnaus has had a fantastic rookie season on the European Tour where he has already carded three second place finishes before his tied for fourth in Madrid - his sixth top ten of the campaign. Already under the pressure of a home Open, the 24-year-old revealed he would donate 100 euros for each birdie and 300 for each eagle he carded during the tournament for the Niño Jesús Hospital in Madrid. In the end, he raised 2,300 euros and Arnaus said this after the event: "I had it in my mind all along and I'm really pleased that I can support that cause, it's for the Hospital Niño Jesús, helping the kids with cancer having a new physiotherapy centre so all the money goes to them."


Eagles flying in Madrid

The Mutuactivos Open de España crowd were lucky enough to witness some magnificent play during all four days. There were chip-ins to celebrate and the renowned Spanish touch was shown in all its glory at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. However, it was raining eagles in the sun of Spain as Edoardo Molinari, Ross Fisher and Rahm produced perfect iron shots.

Mad-rid home support

With Spanish players dominating the leaderboard, there was plenty to cheer about during the event. There were huge followings during Thursday and Friday as defending champion Rahm, Cabrera Bello and Arnaus formed the marquee all Spaniard group, with the former two also paired together on the last day. But the biggest cheer of the week came at the last on Saturday when 23 time European Tour winner José María Olazábal finished his third round with a fine birdie to the delight of the gallery.

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