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What's in the bag

Rahm brushes off rules drama to become World No 1

Jon Rahm became the first Spaniard since Seve Ballesteros to top the men’s world ranking – and of course there was a rules drama involved. Alex Perry wraps up the action

 

Jon Rahm won the Memorial to dethrone Rory McIlroy as World No 1.

Rahm needed to win and for McIlroy to finish outside the top two, and it looked in the bag when he was eight clear of nearest rival Ryan Palmer at the turn on Sunday.

But Rahm dropped four shots in five holes and the lead was three with three with three to play. Then he airmailed the 16th green before doing this…

Rahm had to overcome a rules drama with the above shot when cameras picked up a movement in his ball as he addressed it.

He was assessed a two-shot penalty following the round, and his win was cut to three. Not that he knew about it. Indeed, it was Amanda Balionis that told him in the post-round interview.

Rahm now has four PGA Tour and six European Tour titles – astonishing when you think this is just his fourth season on tour as a professional – and he becomes just the second Spaniard, after his idol Seve Ballesteros, to reach World No 1.

He is also the fifth youngest player to reach No 1 after McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. He is also the third fastest since turning pro after Woods and Spieth

DeChambeau in the headlines again

If you tuned in over the weekend to see the hottest player on the planet right now, then you missed out.

Bryson DeChambeau had an entertaining two days at Muirfield Village, that included him hitting a 423-yard drive as well carding a 10.

And so is Phil

You just have to love Phil Mickelson who, from the middle of the fairway at one hole, pulled out his putter. Why? Well we’ll let him explain.

Austrian delight for Stalter

Joel Stalter won his first title as the European Tour continued its comeback at the Euram Bank Open in Austria.

The Frenchman started the final day four behind Robin Sciot-Siegrist but had caught up to the 54-hole leader with a birdie at the 10th. He moved clear with another gain at 15 to set the clubhouse target at 14-under-par. He wasn’t caught.

Stalter credited girlfriend and temporary caddie Flora for the victory: “She kept me in the right mentality and on track the whole week. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

Mansell bounces back

Having missed the cut in his European Tour debut last week, Richard Mansell will make the long drive home from Austria to the Midlands a much happier man after a runner-up finish.

The 25-year-old decided to road trip across the continent and was in contention at Adamstal until a bogey at the 70th hole meant he had to settle for second.

“If you had asked me at the start of the week, ‘Would you take a second-place finish on your own?’ Yes. But with four holes to play when you’ve got a one-footer to tie the lead, or if you could just birdie the last, it’s difficult to swallow. But I’ll be back again.”

Open for the Ages comes to a dramatic conclusion

How cool was the Open for the Ages? The R&A used archive to weave together archive footage to pit the very best players from the last 50 years against each other at St Andrews.

Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods led going into the final day, with the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Jordan Spieth and John Daly breathing down their necks.

We won’t spoil the result in case you are yet to see the highlights.

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Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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