Jon Rahm's next challenge: Figure out the majors in 2018

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Jon Rahm's next challenge: Figure out the majors in 2018

Euro Tour

Jon Rahm's next challenge: Figure out the majors in 2018

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Jon Rahm will have a luxury next year few second-year pros get: he’ll be able to focus strongly on the major championships.

Rahm picked up the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year award on the eve of the $8 million DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The 22-year-old Spaniard is currently fourth on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, over 1.6 million points ahead of nearest rookie competitor Jordan Smith.

The Arizona State player won this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, finished runner-up in the WGC–Dell Technologies Match Play, third in the WGC–Mexico Championship and 10th in the French Open.

He’s the first Spaniard to win the rookie title since Pablo Larrazabal in 2008, and joins Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (2005), Sergio Garcia (1999), and Jose Maria Olazabal (1986) as former Spanish winners.

“To be sitting here fourth in the Race to Dubai, playing the way I’ve done in the Rolex Series, becoming rookie of the year when I wasn’t even a member is really a special feeling,” Rahm said. “Never in a million years would I have expected what I’ve done this year. I know it’s hard to keep it going, but hopefully I can.”

Many players have made a big splash in their rookie seasons only to crash in Year 2. Rahm is looking back to his college career for inspiration

“A somewhat similar feeling is my third year in college; I went to No. 1 in the world, won four times, won the Ben Hogan (Award),” Rahm said. “I reassessed my goals and had an even better final year. So I’ll just keep doing what I’ve done until now.”

That’s why his focus for 2018 will be on the four tournaments that really matter.

“Every player has a formula and I think finding that formula is one of the most critical things when it comes to major championships,” Rahm said. “After one year I don’t know what my formula is. I haven’t played my best golf in the majors. I think finding that formula is the number one thing I take from this year.”

The precocious Spaniard has the offseason to find out how he can peak four times next season.

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