Jon Rahm fired a final round of eight-under-par 62 to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for the second time in three years.
The 24-year-old Spaniard posted an eagle and eight birdies in his closing 18 at Lahinch Golf Club to win on 16-under, two shots ahead of Andy Sullivan and Bernd Wiesberger. Rahm’s third Rolex Series event win takes him to the top of the Race to Dubai standings.
Rahm was spectacular over the weekend, shooting a third round 64 and then a Sunday 62 for 264. He parred only six holes in an adventurous final round, with identical loops of 31.
South Africa’s challenge was led by Zander Lombard, who finished in a tie for ninth on 269, five shots behind Rahm, after starting the day two strokes off the overnight lead.
Lombard kept it tidy all day and was always there and thereabouts but couldn’t get the red numbers needed to make it a second European Tour win by a South African in successive weeks. He parred the opening nine holes in 34 and then made birdie at the par four 10th to go to 12-under for the tournament and sit one shot off the top of a crowded board. However, six more pars were followed by a bogey at No17 for a 70 and five shots behind Rahm, although he is a guaranteed starter at The Open Championship at Royal Portrush and this top 10 will fill him wth confidence.
Jacques Kruyswijk produced one of the rounds of the day with six birdies and one bogey in his 65 that saw him leap 34 places up the leaderboard to finish tie 24th on 276. The 26-year-old had shown little sign of what was to come after making par at the opening seven holes of his final round before reeling off three birdies in a row, dropping a shot at the par five 12th and then birdieing three of the final six holes.
He was joined on 276 by Richard Sterne who closed with a 67 that was fashioned along similar lines to Kruyswijk. Sterne parred the opening six hole, before making a birdie at No7 to turn in 33 and also birdied the 10th. He too made a bogey at the par five 12th, before picking up strokes at the 13th and 17th to conclude a profitable week.
Brandon Stone had been going along comfortably in reaching the turn in level par 34 but then an ugly triple bogey seven at the 10th and a bogey six at the 12th saw him drop four shots in two holes. He managed to stop the bleeding with pars at 13, 14 and 15, but then bogeyed the par three 16th. But an eagle three at the 18th saw him drag it back to three over for the day and the fourth South African in tie 24th on 276.
Also on 276 was George Coetzee who dropped three shots in the closing four holes with a double bogey on 15 and a bogey on 17 for a final round 73.
The 2010 Open champion and current SA Open champion Louis Oosthuizen drained a long putt to finish with a birdie at the par five 18th – making birdie there in all four rounds – for a level par 70 and a two-under total of 278, which left him in a tie for 46th.
South African Scores
T9 Zander Lombard 64 67 68 70 269
T24 George Coetzee 70 67 66 73 276
T24 Jacques Kruyswijk 67 72 72 65 276
T24 Richard Sterne 72 67 70 67 276
T24 Brandon Stone 67 67 69 73 276
T46 Louis Oosthuizen 71 67 70 70 278
MC Justin Harding 72 68 140
MC Louis de Jager 72 68 140
MC Haydn Porteous 68 73 141
MC Darren Fichardt 73 68 141
MC Erik van Rooyen 70 71 141
MC Justin Walters 70 72 142
MC Dean Burmester 70 74 144
MC Thomas Aiken 71 73 144
MC Christiaan Bezuidenhout 71 74 145
MC Jaco van Zyl 71 75 146
MC Trevor Immelman 78 69 147
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