Jon Rahm returns for Dubai Duty Free showpiece at Lahinch

Jon Rahm celebrates his Dubai Duty Free Irish Open victory in 2017
Jon Rahm celebrates his Dubai Duty Free Irish Open victory in 2017
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Jon Rahm will return to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the second Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai, as the swashbuckling Spaniard looks to continue the form which has yielded one famous victory and another top five finish in his previous two appearances on Irish soil.

The 24-year-old has been a fan favourite at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, having claimed a record-breaking victory on his debut in 2017 courtesy of a six-stroke triumph with a 24 under par total – the lowest winning score in the event’s 92 year history.

“Winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open was very special for me,” said Rahm.

“To perform the way I did and shoot 24 under par and especially the way it happened on that final round, with that magnificent hole-out on four which was arguably one of the best shots of my career, and the finish the way I did . With how much fun I had it was definitely special.

“What made it all better was the Irish crowds, they were some of the best crowds I’ve ever played in front of – for both years, two years in a row.

“I’m very excited to go back there and to Lahinch. I’ve never been on that golf course but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

“It’s always one of the most enjoyable weeks I have on tour so hopefully I can have a good showing again. The support I get over there is unlike any other, comparable to what I get in Spain and I love going back.”

Last year, Rahm gave the Irish fans plenty to cheer about over the weekend at Ballyliffin, carding a round of 67 on Saturday and a remarkable 66 on the final day – which included four successive birdies to finish. The Basque player came within two strokes of a play-off spot having started the week with a two over par 74.

That preceded one of the most dramatic finales in the tournament’s 91-year history, as Russell Knox holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to clinch a place in a play -off.