Open de Espana: Jon Rahm four shots behind leader Mathieu Pavon after first round of Spanish Open | Golf News

Jon Rahm had a big crowd following him all day at Club de Campo during a national holiday in Spain, and he sits joint 17th, four shots behind leader Mathieu Pavon; Watch the Spanish Open live on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm on Friday

21:22, UK, Thursday 12 October 2023

Jon Rahm got off to a solid start in his bid to break Chev Ballesteros’ three Spanish Open titles to take a four-shot lead after Thursday’s first round 67.

Mathieu Pavon sits atop the leaderboard after a 63 at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid that included seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

Will Besseling is one shot back in second, while Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Pedro Figueiredo and Eddie Pepperell are tied for third. Among the under-fives are Marcel Siem and Subhankar Sharma.

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Rahm’s first round since helping Europe win the Ryder Cup two weeks ago included five birdies and a bogey on the 18th hole – his ninth of the day – after an erratic drive led to a shot into the bunker.

„It was a good score. You can’t win on the first day, but I put myself in a good position,” Rahm said.

Rahm took a week off following the Ryder Cup, where he won three points to help Europe defeat the United States at Marco Simone in Italy.

„Once you get back to the week of the tournament, it’s business as usual. It’s always easier to go back to a regular event than to flip to the Ryder Cup because the Ryder Cup is so unique, it’s once every two years, whereas it’s just another week of the year. Obviously it’s a really big week for me,” he said. He added.

Jon Rahm is tied for 17th place but four shots behind leader Mathieu Pavon

Rahm tied Ballesteros’ three Spanish Open titles with his win in Madrid last year. He also won the tournament in 2018 and 2019. Balsteros won the last of his 50 titles on the European Tour at the 1995 Spanish Open.

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„I feel like I drove it really well and I want to take advantage of the other two chances. I put myself in the right spots a lot. Hopefully I can keep hitting the greens like that. I’ve got a few weeks left,” Rahm said.

„The beauty of something like this is when I’m not hitting my best shots, I’m using the crowd to my advantage and using the crowd energy.

Pavon leads after opening day at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid

Rahm and No. 36 Justin Rose are the only players in the top 50 entering the field this week. Rose, who was named to the European Ryder Cup team, carded a disappointing opening round of 71 that included a double bogey on the par-four second hole. He only had two birds that day.

Alex Fitzpatrick and Edoardo Molinari both shot 69s. Victor Garca Proto, a local qualifier, was among those who shot 65 after the first day.

The European Tour will be in Spain next week with the Andalusia Masters.

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