Jon Rahm earns special home win with Spanish Open title

Leading man Paul Dunne is a shot ahead of the field after shooting 68 in the third round of the Open de Espana

World number four John Rahm fired a final round five-under-par 67 to win the Open de Espana in Madrid.

As Rahm closed with a five-under 67 to win his third European Tour title on 20-under par and become only the sixth Spanish victor since 1972, Dunne had to console himself with a late birdie that denied Spain's Nacho Elvira a share of second at the Centro Nacional de Golf.

Another birdie at the second put him right in the frame for his third European Tour win.

Greystones native Dunne picked up a cheque for €166k for his efforts.

South African George Coetzee surged 31 places through the field to finish fourth with the best round of the day, a 63.

Rahm, however, admitted it was one of the hardest Sunday's he has had to face in his short pro career.

"When I made the decision to come straight from Augusta it wouldn't be to just show up and walk around, I wanted to win this tournament", Rahm told reporters. "It's probably the hardest Sunday I've ever had to play because the amount of crowds I was carrying". Everyone seemed to want me to win. They were pushing so hard and I felt that. It was really hard to deal with the public's emotions.

"I've been blessed to be national champion from 16 to all ages in Spain".

"They played a huge part, I came for them mainly so I'm just glad I can win this one for the Spanish people".

Rahm bogeyed on the ninth hole but six birdies proved enough to secure top spot, as overnight leader Dunne dropped three shots on the final day.

Elvira was tied with Rahm standing on the par-3 17th tee and while both hit less than ideal tee shots Elvira's found water while Rahm's held up in a patch of long grass.

The World No.4 has now had three European Tour victories in just 19 starts, making him the third fastest player to reach that mark.

While Elvira eagled the par-five fifth to snatch the solo lead, it came between bogeys at the fourth and sixth and he would undo back nine birdies at the 13th and 14th with that double bogey at the 17th.

Spaniard Jorge Campillo and Scot Marc Warren carded closing rounds of 69 to finish at 15 under alongside Australian Brett Rumford, who finished with a 71, and Swede Henric Sturehed who shot a 72.

He becomes the Spaniard since it turned into a portion of their Tour from 1972, linking some illustrious company which includes Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez, to get against the Spanish Open.

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