Rahm defends Madrid title with commanding victory

World number five Jon Rahm successfully defended his Mutuactivos Open de Espana title with a commanding victory at Club de Campo in Madrid.

Rahm carded a closing 66 to finish 22 under par, five shots ahead of compatriot Rafa Cabrera Bello, with Samuel Del Val making it a Spanish 1-2-3 on 15 under.

The win takes Rahm above Open champion Shane Lowry on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with seven tournaments remaining in the season.

Rahm began the final round with a five-shot lead following a superb 63 on Saturday and was never in danger of being caught after a brilliant approach to the par-five fourth set up an eagle from four feet.

The 24-year-old also birdied the seventh, ninth, 10th and 14th and was only denied an even bigger winning margin when Cabrera Bello birdied five of the last six holes, while he dropped a shot on the 17th.

“I’m not happy I three-putted 17, I wanted to go bogey-free, but at the end of the day I did the important thing, I was able to successfully defend it in front of the home crowd,” Rahm told Sky Sports.

“It might not be the strongest field yet but it’s always really hard for me to keep everything under control and to play the weekend that I did for them is always really fun.

“I can’t wait for next year to come back and hopefully do it three times.”

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