Irish Open 2017
Round 4 - Jon Rahm wins with record scoreJuly 9, 2017
Jon Rahm enhanced his burgeoning reputation by winning the Irish Open by six strokes and a record tournament score on Sunday, shooting a 7-under 65 in a final round marked by two eagles and rules controversy.
The 22-year-old Rahm, one of the hottest young players in world golf, holed out from 150 yards for eagle on No. 4 and strung together four straight birdies from No. 7 to turn what was promising to be a tight final day into a procession at Portstewart Golf Club.
The 11th-ranked Spaniard added a second eagle with a long putt on the par-5 14th to put more distance to his chasers, led by David Drysdale following his course-record 63 early Sunday.
Rahm finished on 24-under 264 overall - breaking the record to par by three shots - for a second victory of 2017, and in little over a year as a professional.
He avoided being handed a two-shot penalty for replacing his ball incorrectly on the 6th green, following emails and calls from TV viewers. Andy McPhee, chief referee of the European Tour, said Rahm made a ''reasonable judgment'' after having moved his marker one putter length to the side to get it off the line of playing partner Daniel Im.
Richie Ramsay (65) and Matthew Southgate (66) were tied for second on 18 under, with Drysdale tied for fourth alongside Justin Rose, Ryan Fox and overnight joint-leader Im.
Ramsay, Fox and Drysdale qualified for the British Open at Royal Birkdale, which starts July 20, courtesy of their top-10 finishes.
Round 3 - Jon Rahm and Daniel Im share leadJuly 9, 2017
Jon Rahm shot a second straight 5-under 67 at the Irish Open and moved into a share of the lead with Daniel Im in the third round on Saturday.
On a day of good scoring over the links at Portstewart Golf Club, the 11th-ranked Rahm moved to 17 under par overall after making four consecutive birdies from No. 11 and parring his way home.
Im, who was tied for the lead with Benjamin Hebert after the first two rounds, birdied five of his opening 14 holes and scrambled superbly at the end to shoot a 68 and stay alongside Rahm. Hebert is a stroke behind after shooting 69.
Rahm, one of golf's hottest talents, tied for 10th at the French Open last week in the Spaniard's first appearance on the European Tour and looks in good shape to collect his second victory of 2017, after the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on the U.S. PGA Tour in January.
Having turned professional only a little over a year ago, Rahm also finished third and second in his first two World Golf Championship events.
''I've never led going into the final round so I am a little inexperienced in that sense,'' said Rahm, who was persuaded to play the event by tournament host Rory McIlroy. ''But I know what I did at Torrey Pines, both good and bad. Hopefully I won't need two eagles in the last five holes again to win tomorrow.
''I have exceeded my expectations massively. My putting and short game has never been my best ally on links courses, but this week has been the opposite. I'm not used to making this many putts and it feels great.''
Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia are Spaniards to have won the Irish Open.
Im, a 542nd-ranked American, is in even more unusual territory.
''I'm just going to enjoy every moment of it tomorrow,'' Im said. ''It's going to be amazing playing with Jon Rahm. He's one of the fastest rising stars in the world. It will be fun.''
The No. 2-ranked Hideki Matsuyama dropped into a tie for 22nd after a 72.
Julien Quesne and Scott Hend both shot 64s for the lowest round of the day and are fifth and sixth, respectively. Also tied for sixth on 13 under was Olympic champion Justin Rose, who shot a bogey-free 66 despite hitting just one fairway.
''Ahead of the Open Championship at Birkdale (starting on July 20), I've certainly tested myself, my scrambling capabilities,'' Rose said, ''but come through so far strongly this week.''
Jamie Donaldson, who was tied for 12th after 36 holes, withdrew before his third round because of a pulled muscle in his back.
Round 2 - Rory McIlroy misses cutJuly 8, 2017
Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Irish Open for the fourth time in five years, leading the four-time major winner to express concerns on Friday about parts of his game ahead of the British Open.
McIlroy shot 1-over 73 in his second round over the links at Portstewart and was 1 over for the tournament, which he is hosting to benefit his foundation. He was four strokes below the cut mark and 14 strokes off the joint leaders, Benjamin Hebert and Daniel Im.
''My short game is not sharp enough and I'm making silly mistakes,'' said McIlroy, who refused to blame his performance on the fact he was busy at the start of the week because he was hosting the event. ''I'm not being very proficient with my scoring and making it difficult for myself.''
McIlroy also missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month and hasn't had a victory so far in 2017, during which he has had two spells out because of a rib injury. He will play one more event - the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links next week - before the British Open, which starts on July 20 at Royal Birkdale.
The only time he made the cut at the Irish Open since 2012 was last year, when he won. He finished this year's event by slamming his driver onto a tee marker following a poor drive on the seventh, his 16th hole of the day, before making double-bogey on the next hole.
''It's disappointing because I felt like I was playing well coming into the week and I need to do some practice over the weekend and get ready for next week,'' McIlroy said.
''Even being busy on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I should be shooting two scores in the 60s with the conditions the way they were.''
Jon Rahm, playing in the same group as McIlroy, shot 67 to be alone in third place, a stroke off the lead held by the pair that also topped the leaderboard after the first round. Hebert and Im both shot 67 in their second rounds.
The No.2-ranked Hideki Matsuyama shot 68 and was five shots back.
Round 1 - Jon Rahm shines in first roundJuly 7, 2017
Rising Spanish star Jon Rahm upstaged tournament host Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open by shooting a 7-under 65 to move one stroke off the first-round lead on Thursday.
Rahm, ranked No. 11, showed impressive form on the links two weeks out from the British Open, rolling in six birdies and an eagle on a low-scoring day at Portstewart. He was tied for third place with Englishmen Matthew Southgate and Oliver Fisher.
Daniel Im of the United States, ranked No. 542, and Benjamin Hebert of France, ranked No. 254, held the lead after shooting bogey-free 64s.
McIlroy, the defending champion and part of a heavyweight group containing Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama, parred his last 11 holes and was even par at a tournament which benefits his own foundation. The No. 2-ranked Matsuyama shot 67.
Rahm has taken a break from the PGA Tour, where he is enjoying a breakthrough season, to play in Europe ahead of the British Open at Royal Birkdale from July 20-23. He tied for 10th at the French Open last week and is now in contention in Ireland, another event in the European Tour's Rolex Series with a prize fund of $7 million.
He holed a long birdie putt on No. 1 and followed up a bogey and two birdies by rolling in a 20-foot eagle putt on the 7th. He birdied both par fives on the back nine before a final birdie on the 15th.
''My attitude was probably the best it's been all year,'' said Rahm, who is known for his fiery temperament. ''I was positive all day. Kept my routine going. Stayed calm and the result showed how good it was.''
Im, who made six birdies in his opening eight holes, is leading a European Tour event for only the second time in his career. His best finish this year is 14th.
Hebert was the best of the afternoon starters, picking up four straight birdies from No. 13 to join Im atop the leaderboard.
|T42||ESP||Eduardo De La Riva||-9||18||70||70||72||67||279|
|T42||ESP||Miguel Angel Jimenez||-9||18||69||70||73||67||279|
|CUT||POR||Ricardo Melo Gouveia||-3||-||69||72||-||-||141|
|CUT||ESP||Rafael Cabrera Bello||-2||-||69||73||-||-||142|
|CUT||ESP||Jose Maria Olazabal||144||-||72||72||-||-||144|
|CUT||SWE||Magnus A. Carlsson||144||-||72||72||-||-||144|
|RET||RSA||Jaco Van Zyl||71||-||71||-||-||-||71|