Jon Rahm may not have had the weekend he wanted at the 2021 Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid but that did not stop him giving back to the sell out crowd in the Spanish capital. The World Number One entered the week looking to become just the second player after Seve Ballesteros to win this event three times in the European Tour era and just the fourth player in history to win the same regular European Tour event three times in a row.
He started round three just a shot off the lead but weekend scores of 72-69 saw him finish at 13 under, six shots out of the play-off won by another local favourite in Rafa Cabrera Bello. Rahm has taken huge crowds with him wherever he has gone this week - fans he has called "golf hungry" after the Covid-19 pandemic - and they were still there watching their hero as he finished on Sunday.
And before he set off for Real Club Valderrama to delight another set of Spanish fans at next week's Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, he stayed behind for countless autographs and selfies.
Jon Rahm, statements
"I'm going to sign all the children, no matter how long it takes," he said.
A true credit to our game. A new career as a mental coach, alongside some of the best golfers in the world to drag them to success and support them in times of difficulty. This is what Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics, seems to have undertaken (also in the name of friendship).
A great golf enthusiast, many now define him as the "secret weapon" of green totems such as Jon Rahm, number one in the world ranking, and Jordan Spieth, the Texan who, after a long period of crisis, is back in 2021 to amaze.
"He's a good guy, he's been through a lot as a sportsman and he's the greatest Olympian of all time with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I'm not going to reveal what I asked him but I can say that he has helped me a lot in the last period.
" These are the revelations of the Spaniard Rahm. For the legendary swimmer, nicknamed 'the Baltimore Shark', important words also came from Spieth, today 12 / o in the world ranking. "The mental aspect is something I've worked on a lot with him lately.
I'm really lucky to have him around. Besides, he's a great lover of golf and having him now more and more in our world is an added value." This is the opinion of Spieth who yesterday, alongside Phelps, played the Pro-Am of the BMW Championship, the second event of the Play-Offs of the Pga Tour starting today in Owing Mills (USA), Maryland.