Jon Rahm in contention for "incredible" third win at Open de Espana after 64

Jon Rahm is aiming to equal Seve Ballesteros' haul of three titles at the acciona Open de Espana this week and he started in near-perfect fashion on Thursday.

Jon Rahm in contention for "incredible" third win at Open de Espana after 64
Jon Rahm in contention for "incredible" third win at Open de Espana after…

Jon Rahm started his pursuit of a third win at the acciona Open de Espana in strong style on Thursday, an accolade that would equal the great Seve Ballesteros.

The former World No.1 carded a 7-under-par 64 in the first round at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in Spain to sit behind only Ashun Wu, who went one better than the home favourite on the day.

Rahm, 27, made six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 14th hole. Another highlight came on the par-4 8th hole when the Spaniard chipped in for a birdie, thrilling the crowds in Madrid.

The 2021 US Open champion entered this week on the DP World Tour as the strong favourite and he has justified this by maintaining his superb form which helped him to finish second at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Rahm won the Open de Espana in 2018 and 2019 and if he was to win a third title, he would equal the hatrick that Ballesteros achieved in 1995.

"It would be incredible. He is obviously the reference in Spain. He made golf where it is in this country," Rahm said.

"He changed golf worldwide but here especially. So any time you get your chance to put your name on a list that only Seve is on (in the DP World Tour era), it's really incredible.

"I've been able to do it a couple of times with a few accomplishments but to be able to win this event three times would be incredible. I don't want to think about it too much but it would be a dream come true, it would be a true honour."

Matthieu Pavon was 7-under-par through his first seven holes. Despite a strong start, he finished with the same score as Rahm and one shot further back are Stephen Gallacher, Joakim Lagergren and LIV Golf participant Hennie du Plessis.

Rahm's playing partner Min Woo Lee carded a 67 to sit four shots behind Wu, while Spanish amateur Luis Masaveu shot 5-under-par.



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