The 2018 edition of the Open de España turned out perfectly, exceeding even the most optimistic of expectations. This is all the more impressive when you realise that two months before the tournament we were unsure if it would even take place.
The ingredients required for this cake to be baked to perfection were; the rapid work of David Gómez and his team to get the Centro Nacional up to scratch for a European Tour event, the union of the RFEG and the Federación de Madrid de Golf, the presence of almost all the Spanish players and, finally, the more than 50,000 people who packed the course for the four days, which was a first for our golf.
But every cake needs a cherry on top, and Jon Rahm put it there with his victory after four days of astonishing golf and a nail-biting finish involving another Spaniard, Nacho Elvira.
As with all epic stories, the rain also stole some of the limelight, but this did nothing to dampen people’s spirits, because having Jon Rahm in Madrid for the first time in his professional career meant thousands of fans followed him, many of whom were at their first golf tournament.
The promise behind the tournament’s slogan, ‘The Open for everyone’, was perfectly fulfilled, because both the federation members and fans, or even just sports lovers, had the chance to enjoy a first-class event at which Jon Rahm delivered the goods and managed to get his name in a prestigious winners’ circle.
From that moment, Spanish golf started to experience a revolution, beginning at 21:00 that Sunday, when Jon Rahm was up first on the live TVE news… GOLF WAS THE FIRST ITEM ON THE CHANNEL 1 NEWS!
The Basque player visited the Televisión Española studios for the first news item on the programme, something that had never happened in the history of our golf and that, except in the case of football, rarely occurs in any other sports.
Many facets have to come together for something like that to happen, but Jon Rahm’s enormous talent is a huge factor, and he knows that right now he is a fundamental pillar for the relaunching of golf in Spain, and he is aware of how important it is and that he is a role model for many children that dream of being like him.
Jon himself, who has won several much more important tournaments (both in terms of money and prestige), says that this was the most important victory of his career. And if for him it was an Open de España that changed history, then it did for Spanish golf too.