Jon Rahm has goosebumps over the thought of emulating the great Seve Ballesteros and becoming Race to Dubai champion.
A six-under-par 66 on Saturday left Rahm in a tie for first alongside Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the DP World Tour Championship after three rounds and in pole position to win the season-long battle for the European Tour’s best player.
Ballesteros is the only other Spaniard to have achieved the honour, doing so six times between 1976 and 1991 when it was known as the Order of Merit.
It is an honour that has eluded such Spanish talents as Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez, and Rahm is determined to grasp his opportunity.
“It gives me goosebumps to think about that,” he said in quotes reported by the European Tour.
“I’ve said it many times, as a Spaniard, any time you join or you have the chance to put your name on a list where there’s only one name and that name is Seve, it’s pretty impactful.
“It’s really emotional for all of us. To think not even Sergio or Miguel Angel or Olly or many other great players couldn’t get it done.
“It’s hard to believe that I have the chance to be the second. I’m just going to try to enjoy the afternoon. There’s still 18 more holes to play.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 23, 2019
Rory McIlroy looms as an ominous presence just two shots off the pace, with Tommy Fleetwood – Rahm’s rival in the Race to Dubai – four shots off the lead.
McIlroy, a three-time Race to Dubai victor, recovered from a disappointing 74 on Friday to shoot himself back into contention for the World Tour Championship trophy with a 65.
“You’ve got Tommy and Jon up there obviously and Mike’s holding steady at the top. He played wonderfully yesterday. I played with him and seems like he’s doing a similar thing today,” McIlroy said.
“I’m going to have to go out there and shoot a similar score tomorrow to do what I did today to really have a chance. But I’m just really pleased that I got myself back in the golf tournament.”