Jon Rahm finishes 'unbelievable' 2017 with Dubai win, hopes for strong follow-up

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Jon Rahm finishes 'unbelievable' 2017 with Dubai win, hopes for strong follow-up

Euro Tour

Jon Rahm finishes 'unbelievable' 2017 with Dubai win, hopes for strong follow-up

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Jon Rahm finished the 2017 European season with one burning question.

What does he do for an encore?

The 23-year-old Spaniard backed up his European Tour rookie of the year award by winning the $8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. Rahm’s 19-under 269 winning total gave him a one-shot victory over Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry of Ireland. He picked up $1.3 million for his second European tour victory of the year following the Irish Open.

“What I’ve done this year, especially on the European Tour from no member, nothing, to an affiliate to European Tour champion to actually be Rolex Series champion and to now twice Rolex Series champion and winner of the DP World Tour Championship, it’s something unbelievable,” said Rahm, who ended the season as European No. 3 behind Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose.

How does he top a banner rookie year?

“I know it’s going to be hard to top it,” he said. “I’m going to take a couple days off. I’m going to work with my mental coach, reassess the year, what I’ve done really good, what I’ve done really bad, and see what I’ve done and set my goals for next year.

“Hopefully I can keep playing like this and hopefully I can win again next year, keep going, maybe coming out to this tournament with a chance of actually winning the Race to Dubai. Hopefully I can play better and actually have a chance.”

Rahm’s challenge will be trying to play both the European and PGA tours next season. The Spaniard only needs to play four regular European Tour events to fulfill his membership requirements. He’s hoping to play more than that.

“I’ll try. It’s just hard to be honest. Having to combine both tours and the start of the year on the west coast and the PGA Tour being so close to the home for me, being defending champion at Torrey Pines, it’s just going to be hard to go away from that and come here.

“I have success in Europe and I want to keep coming.”

All of Europe will hope he lives up to that desire.

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