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Jon Rahm wins Memorial to repl...
Golf

Jon Rahm wins Memorial to replace McIlroy as world number one

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

07:06 20 Jul 2020

Spain's Jon Rahm is golf's new world number one, after winning impressively at the Memorial tournament in Ohio last night.

The 25-year-old shot a final round of 75, which was enough for him to win by three shots on nine-under par, ahead of American Ryan Palmer.

Rahm is the second Spaniard, after Seve Ballesteros, to top the global rankings.

He replaces Rory McIlroy, who finished back on four-over, after a 78 yesterday. A triple-bogey eight on the par-five fifth hole saw the Down man's challenge fade.

Rahm had started yesterday's final round at Jack Nicklaus' course four shots clear, and at one point moved eight ahead, before a number of dropped shots made the last few holes more competitive than they could have been.

It was a fourth win on the PGA Tour for Rahm, and he was overcome with emotion after this latest win.

"[It was] one of the best performances of my life. Yesterday was probably one of the best rounds of my life and finished today with some clutch up-and-downs. And as a Spaniard, I'm kind of glad it happened that way. Every shot counts, and I tried every shot and got those two last up-and-downs, as a true Spaniard would.

"My short game has been unbelievable all week. It's been so good, and I've gotten close to chipping in a couple times. You always hear about people saying champions make it happen, and at that point I made it happen.

"I'm a person who unfortunately I'm fully aware I learn from mistakes. I act, foolishly or not. I'll do my action, and I'll learn from it, good or bad.

"Luckily I've been pretty good at learning from my mistakes and getting a little bit better each time and today was a clear example of it. I could have completely lost it many times. Maybe in the past I would have, but I didn't. I just kept fighting. I knew it was a complete grind."

He chipped in beautifully for birdie at 16, although the PGA Tour handed him a two-stroke penalty after television pictures appeared to show the ball move slightly as he prepared to take the shot.

He said he hadn't noticed the infringement at the time.

"I didn’t see it. You know, I promised open honestly and I’m a loyal person and I don’t want to win by cheating. … The ball did move. It’s as simple as that.

"Had I seen it, I would have said something or maybe questioned -- not questioned, asked for a rules official and explained what happened and would have gone from there.

"But I mean, he had to zoom it in the iPad so much to see what was a very minimal oscillation that could have basically just been me putting the club down and all the grass just simply going down.

"It barely moves at all. Everything goes down with it. But the rules of golf are clear, and the ball did move. Unfortunately, it's going to have a bittersweet feeling to what was possibly one of the greatest shots of my career, the shot that this Sunday gave me the victory, but … I accept the penalty. That goes to show that you have to fight until the end."

Masters champion Tiger Woods ended up with a four-over 76 to leave him six-over par total in his first tournament in five months.

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Jon Rahm Memorial Tournament PGA Tour Rory McIlroy Ryan Palmer Tiger Woods World Number One

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