Jon Rahm has won the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club in Co. Clare, coming from five shots behind to claim to two-shot victory over Andy Sullivan of England and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
Rahm, winning the tournament for the second time in three years, shot a final round 62, eight under par, the best score of Sunday’s play, to claim the $1.2 million winner’s cheque.
The Spaniard, whose round included 8 birdies, and an eagle at the par 5 12th hole, also collected two bogeys during his round, they coming at two par 4’s, the 3rd and the 13th, as he finished on 264 for a -16 total.
“I keep saying, I love is this tournament”, said Rahm, “I love this country. I love the people and feel like I’m at home every time I come. My game was in great form. Just didn’t show the first two days. I couldn’t hole the putts, and the weekend was the complete opposite. Putts started rolling in from everywhere.”
A tournament of huge crowds, good weather and exciting action saw a number of different players threaten to claim the crown during Sunday’s play. Saturday night leader Robert Rock, who set a course record 60 yesterday, could only manage 2 birdies in his 70, finishing in joint fourth place on -13 with Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain and England’s Eddie Pepperell.
Cabrera Bello, who played in the last pairing of the day with Rock and led at one stage of the final round by three shots, had three birdies in his first nine holes, but four bogeys in 6 holes after the turn ended his chances, as he settled for a 69, while Pepperell carded a similar -1, a round that saw three birdies and two bogeys.
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger’s 66 (-4) fourth round score was matched by Andy Sullivan of England, with both sharing the runner-up spot on 266, fourteen under par.
The leading Irishman at the tournament, Cormac Sharvin, experienced a round of mixed fortunes, suffering a poor start to his final round before composing himself and shooting a level par 70, his worst round of the week, however.
The Co. Down player had bogeys in two of the first three holes before recovering and taking three consecutive birdies from holes 5-7, reaching the turn in 33. A poor run of form then ensued with bogeys on the 10th, 11th and 13th, the final bogey coming with birdies either side of it, with his 271 good enough for a share of 15th place in his home Open.
The Ardglass-based player said frustration was his strongest emotion after the round:
“Pretty frustrating to be honest. I felt like I didn’t play much different than I had the first three days. I just missed it in the wrong side too many times. A bit of a mixed bag. Pretty frustrating. I just got off to a bad start. Managed to pull it back and then just missed it a couples of times on the wrong side at the start of the back nine.”
Waterford golfer Robin Dawson carded a level par round of 70 as the gain from three birdies during his final round was offset by bogeys at the 3rd and 16th, and a double bogey just after the turn for home, at the 10th hole.
Offaly’s Shane Lowry carded a two under par round of 68. The Clara native had four birdies and 2 bogeys, one of which came at the par 4 17th hole, with Lowry summing up his week at Lahinch Golf Club by saying:
“I’ve really enjoyed my week here in Lahinch and felt like I could come here and compete. Disappointed I didn’t but I didn’t feel 100 per cent for the whole week. Came here and playing okay, a couple under par rounds, was okay.”
Pádraig Harrington had three birdies in his first ten holes before matters went downhill for the Dubliner who ended the tournament on 279 (-1). He bogeyed the 14th and 15th but triple bogeyed the 17th. Either side of the penultimate hole, he birdied – the fourth day he completed the par 5 closing hole in four shots.
Harrington was positive enough about his fourth round, however:
“Putted better today than I did in the two middle rounds, so that was nice. Still my short game not very sharp. Not 100 per cent sure why that but certainly the shoring needs to be looked at. Played the last couple of holes poorly. I don’t know if I got tired or whatever, but got a bit quick on a few shots. Besides that, it was decent enough day.”
Séamus Power finished his week on 281 (+1). His fourth round included two birdies (5th, 9th), bogeys at the 10th and 13th, while he triple bogeyed the par 5 12th hole.