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Jon Rahm has won a second Seve Ballesteros Award as Europe’s best golfer - but admits his decision to miss the climax of the 2021 Race to Dubai could become a regular occurrence.
The World No.1 sidestepped the DP World Tour Championship in November, saying he was “exhausted” after a year that saw him win his first Major at the US Open and perform heroics in a losing cause at the Ryder Cup.
Rahm put his clubs away in mid-October after missing the cut in the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama. He was not seen on a golf course again until he teed off in January at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
He is playing for the fifth time this year at the Genesis Invitational and he has already managed two top three finishes - and says that fast start is definitely down to the long break he took at the end of last year.
Rahm explained: “You know, I'm comfortable. I think one of the best decisions I have made in my life was taking those two-and-a-half months off at the end of the year. I wouldn't be surprised if it's something I do more often, because with how hectic our year can be, how much effort we put into this, to have some time to just be home and enjoy the time off is great.
“This is probably one of the reasons why I have started playing so good. Even though my game didn't always feel at its best, I feel like I'm refreshed enough and have plenty of - can we call it, say - competitive stamina.”
If Rahm proves a regular absentee from Europe’s end of season showpiece it will seriously undermine the event’s credibility. But missing it in 2021 did not damage his standing in the eyes of his DP World Tour colleagues, as they showed by making him an overwhelming winner of their Player of the Year award.
A photo posted by on
It is Rahm’s second Seve Ballesteros Award in three years, and he commented: “Winning anything with Seve’s name on it is a huge honour for me, as is the fact that this is voted for by the players of the DP World Tour.
“It is very unique to be recognised by your peers like this. It is a true honour to be able to win this award for a second time and hopefully I can continue to make the DP World Tour proud.”
Rahm, 27, topped the Race to Dubai standings in 2019, but his early shutdown meant he finished third last year - and he may struggle to repeat his 2019 triumph if he continues to bring the curtain down early.
David brings a wealth of experience to Golf Monthly as a freelance contributor having spent more than two decades covering the game as The Sun's golf correspondent. Prior to that, he worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Mail. David has covered the last 12 Ryder Cups and every Masters tournament since 1999. A popular and highly-respected name in the press tents around the world, David has built close relationships with many of the game's leading players and officials.
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