Logic said that the story of Jon Rahm in the 95th Spanish Open was written, and that it was not going to include a fourth win in the national golf flagship tournament. That's how it went. He finished with a -7 to -14 at the club, a result that earned him ninth place (which makes it mathematically impossible for him to win the Race to Dubai), but at times the Basque challenged the virtual impossibility of achieving it.
One of the things that geniuses have is that sometimes they make the unimaginable possible, and when not at least they make it seem so.
Jon Rahm, statements
The record for the number of strokes recovered in a last round by a winner on the European circuit is ten, which Paul Lawrie recovered from Jean van de Velde in the 1999 British Open, largely thanks to the Frenchman's famous collapse on the last hole , and those that Jamie Spence devoured to win the 1992 European Masters.
One less, nine, were those that separated Jon from the Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, 54-hole leader, ultimately champion, on Saturday night. When the Basque teed up at the exit of the fifth hole, with Pavon still at the hotel, there were already five.
He had scored four in the first four segments, all birdies, without missing a fairway or a green. Museum golf. He solved all the greens within one putt, his workhorse in previous days, until the 7th, in which he shot from about seven meters for eagle.
He also subtracted there and in the 8th, and left after nine seconds with -6 on the day and -13 in the accumulated. The twist that he had not managed to thread from Thursday to Saturday. It was a pace that was hardly sustainable, with the goal of breaking the tournament record, the 62 he himself shot to seal his third victory in the event last year.
And things inevitably got cold. Three pars from 10 to 12 preceded the first bogey of the day, after missing the fairway on 13. The same thing happened on 14, the least accessible par 5 of the Madrid Country Club's Black Course.
Two birdies would mark his final stretch, with no chance of separating himself from his idol Seve in the record of this tournament. He finished the course with honors, sinking an eight-foot putt on 15 and hitting the green on 18, the exciting short par 4 that closes Javier Arana's design, to come within inches of the eagle.
He walked off the green as if he were the champion, with his son Kepa in his arms, the crowd cheering him on. He is the 'capo' in the capital, and at 28 years old he will hold that status for a long time. More than watching golf, the goal of most this week is to see him. And he, even when he doesn't win, like this time, returns the ticket price.