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Jon Rahm's Road to World Number One

A three-shot victory at Muirfield Village last weekend secured a fourth PGA Tour title and resulted in the realisation of a teenage dream for Spaniard Jon Rahm. The young golfing maestro now holds the highly-coveted position of world-number-one, usurping Rory McIlroy in the process, and is only the second Spaniard to earn this particular accolade - the other being the late, great Seve Ballesteros.

It was undoubtedly a matter of when, and not if, Rahm would claim the top spot, but the speed at which he has managed to rise to the summit of the men's game is nothing short of breathtaking. With the Official World Golf Rankings starting back in 1986, only Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth have managed to rise to world number one more quickly.

Below we chart the progress through Rahm's career thus far, from promising amateur through to Sunday's victory in Ohio.

A Glittering Amateur Career

From early on, as well as displaying an abundance of talent, it was clear that Rahm's will to win was second-to-none amongst his peers. He played collegiate golf for the Arizona State Sun Devils and was victorious on 16 separate occasions. That haul eclipses Phil Mickelson's previous record of 11 wins.

Mickelson won't feel too downhearted by those numbers as he would eventually profit from the young prodigy's meteoric rise. He saw first hand the level of talent Rahm possessed, due to his brother Tim's coaching role, and would go on to profit thanks to a cheeky locker room bet with former professional Colt Knost.

Jan '17 - First PGA Tour Win (Farmers Insurance Open)

After turning pro in 2016, Rahm spent the early months of his young career finding his feet and attempting to translate the scintillating amateur form into 'sit-up and take notice' performances on the PGA Tour.

With a few near misses under his belt, he arrived at Torrey Pines in California as an interesting outsider in the field. After three solid rounds, Rahm headed into the final round a trio of shots behind leader Patrick Rodgers before carding a stunning -7 (65) when it mattered most.

A snaking 60ft putt for eagle on the final hole was enough to seal the deal. Check out that celebration!


Jul '17 - First European Tour Win (Irish Open)

Over the past few years, Rahm has developed a real affinity with the watching galleries at the DDF Irish Open and, of course, the stunning championship golf courses dotted across the Emerald Isle.

The first of two Rolex Series wins in Ireland came at Portstewart Golf Club back in 2017. He streaked ahead of the field to finish a full six shots clear of his nearest challengers and secured a maiden European Tour victory.

Sep '18 - First Ryder Cup (Le Golf National)


At Le Golf National in Paris back in 2018, Rahm's 2-and-1 win over Tiger Woods helped seal a European win and moved the young star to tears.

Rahm - now a shoo-in for many future Ryder Cup teams -  has firmly established himself as one of best European golfers of the current generation, and arguably second only to Rory McIlroy in overall talent. Spanish golfers have flourished in the competition over the years, with Sergio Garcia now the most successful Ryder Cup player of all-time and, of course, Ballesteros perhaps the most inspirational European player to have lived.

Rahm now looks set to leave his own indelible mark on the most hotly-contested team event in golf.


Nov '19 - European Number One


At the season-ending DP World Tour Championship back last year, Rahm teed it up as one of a quintet of players who could end the week as European Number One.

Though he needed to fend off a late charge from fellow contender Tommy Fleetwood in the final six holes of the final round, Rahm held his nerve on the closing hole to record a well-deserved victory. As well as earning the European Number One title, he pocketed a cool £3.9M (US $5M) in combined tournament prize money and Race to Dubai bonuses.

Jul '20 Jon Rahm Rodriguez: World Number One

Since October of 2019, two victories, two runner-up spots and a third place in only 12 events saw Rahm climb the Official Golf World Rankings from fifth to within striking distance of halting McIlroy's 106-week cumulative spell as world number one.

As he stood on the 18th green after prevailing at Muirfield Village last weekend, he had this to say during a post-round interview...

I've accomplished a lifelong goal and any time I can join Spanish history with Seve is incredible. But it's hard to process right now because golf feels secondary. I lost two family members in the quarantine. There are so many things going through my mind right now that have nothing to do with golf.

Catch his final round highlights below.

Rahm now takes a well-earned break as the PGA Tour heads to Blaine, Minnesota from the 3M Open. With Rory McIlroy also sitting this one out, Rahm will tee it up at next week's WGC with his number one status in tact.

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