European Tour

Rahm named European Tour Rookie of the Year

2017-11-14 14:31
Jon Rahm (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Jon Rahm has won the 2017 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award on the European Tour after a remarkable breakthrough season.

The current world No 5 - who lies fourth in the Race to Dubai - received the award from European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley ahead of this week's season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, where the Spaniard will be looking for a strong finish to an already impressive campaign.

The Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year is awarded to the leading player in the Race to Dubai Rankings in their first year as a full or affiliate member of the European Tour.

READ: European Tour 2017 schedule

Rahm sealed the accolade on Sunday in South Africa after none of his closest competitors - South Africa's Dylan Frittelli, Englishman Jordan Smith, Hideto Tanihara of Japan and New Zealand's Ryan Fox - could finish strongly enough in the Nedbank Golf Challenge to give themselves a chance of overhauling the Spaniard.

It has been a meteoric rise to the top of the world game for the 23-year-old, who turned professional in June 2016.

His transition to the paid ranks was a seamless one and he earned his maiden professional title at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open in January.

Rahm then joined the European Tour and almost immediately emulated three of his Spanish golfing heroes - Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal and Sergio Garcia - with a stunning win in the Irish Open.

Rahm becomes the first Spaniard to win the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award since Pablo Larrazábal in 2008, and the fifth in total, with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (2005), Garcia (1999) and Olazábal (1986) also having claimed the honour.

"It's a very satisfying feeling to win this award," said Rahm.

"If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would be sitting here - fourth in the Race to Dubai, playing the way I've done in the Rolex Series, becoming Rookie of the Year - when I wasn't even a member at the beginning of the year - it's a really special feeling.

"I haven't checked all the names of the people that won this, but I did see Sam Torrance, and I'm guessing there are a lot of other great names too. It's just a huge honour to be sitting here in this position at this time of the year," he said.

"I'm really happy and I'm really blessed that I have this opportunity and that I am able to accomplish this award. It's something I'm really proud of."

Full list of former recipients:

1960 - Tommy Goodwin (ENG)
1961 - Alex Caygill (ENG)
1963 - Tony Jacklin (ENG)
1966 - Robin Liddle (SCO)
1968 - Bernard Gallacher (SCO)
1969 - Peter Oosterhuis (ENG)
1970 - Stuart Brown (ENG)
1971 - David Llewellyn (WAL)
1972 - Sam Torrance (SCO)
1973 - Philip Elson (ENG)
1974 - Carl Mason (ENG)
1976 - Mark James (ENG)
1977 - Sir Nick Faldo (ENG)
1978 - Sandy Lyle (SCO)
1979 - Mike Miller (SCO)
1980 - Paul Hoad (ENG)
1981 - Jeremy Bennett (ENG)
1982 - Gordon Brand Jnr. (SCO)
1983 - Grant Turner (ENG)
1984 - Philip Parkin (WAL)
1985 - Paul Thomas (WAL)
1986 - José María Olazábal (ESP)
1987 - Peter Baker (ENG)
1988 - Colin Montgomerie (SCO)
1989 - Paul Broadhurst (ENG)
1990 - Russell Claydon (ENG)
1991 - Per-Ulrik Johansson (SWE)
1992 - Jim Payne (ENG)
1993 - Gary Orr (SCO)
1994 - Jonathan Lomas (ENG)
1995 - Jarmo Sandelin (SWE)
1996 - Thomas Björn (DEN)
1997 - Scott Henderson (SCO)
1998 - Olivier Edmond (FRA)
1999 - Sergio Garcia (ESP)
2000 - Ian Poulter (ENG)
2001 - Paul Casey (ENG)
2002 - Nick Dougherty (ENG)
2003 - Peter Lawrie (IRL)
2004 - Scott Drummond (SCO)
2005 - Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (ESP)
2006 - Marc Warren (SCO)
2007 - Martin Kaymer (GER)
2008 - Pablo Larrazábal (ESP)
2009 - Chris Wood (ENG)
2010 - Matteo Manassero (ITA)
2011 - Tom Lewis (ENG)
2012 - Ricardo Santos (POR)
2013 - Peter Uihlein (USA)
2014 - Brooks Koepka (USA)
2015 - Byeong Hun An (KOR)
2016 - Jeunghun Wang (KOR)
2017 - Jon Rahm (ESP)

Read more on:    european tour  |  jon rahm  |  golf
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