Rahm eager to emulate Seve in Order of Merit victory

Jon Rahm only has Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia ahead of him in the Race to Dubai standings. 

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Learning that compatriot Seve Ballesteros is the last Spaniard to win the Race to Dubai has spurred on 22-year-old Jon Rahm.

The Basque golfer is only behind Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia in the rankings, and believes he can claw back some points at this week’s Italian Open. 

"It became a goal of mine after Ireland (to win the Race to Dubai)," said Rahm. "Before that, I wasn't really anywhere in the Race to Dubai. I was up there after Mexico but after winning in Ireland, I really became conscious of the fact that I could win it.

"It became a goal of mine, especially once I learned that nobody since Seve in Spain has won it."

Rahm, Garcia and Fleetwood will head out together at Golf Club Milano on Thursday, and while they are in fierce competition there is a healthy dollop of respect between the trio.

"Sergio and I get along great," added Rahm. "It's a true honour to be playing with him. He is the Masters Champion this year so it's even more of an honour to play with someone like Sergio and learn from him.

"And then Tommy, who is closer to my age, and is just a great guy. He's been playing some great golf and on top of that, he's won twice this year in Abu Dhabi and France.

"He's leading the Race to Dubai and he's playing some outstanding golf worldwide.

"He very, very much deserves to be in the number one spot right now and I'll be looking forward to playing with him."

On the European Tour, Rahm has competed in nine events in 2017, winning the Irish Open in July and placing runner-up at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March.

On the PGA Tour, he has teed it up 23 times, winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January, alongside 11 top 10 finishes.