Memorial Tournament: Jon Rahm focused on turning lead into win

Jon Rahm is refusing to carried away about the prospect of becoming world No 1 for the first time, despite taking a commanding lead into the final round at the Memorial Tournament.

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The Spaniard posted a four-under 68 to open up a four-shot lead at Muirfield Village, where a victory could see him leapfrog Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings.

Rahm was three behind with seven holes to play but took advantage of a series of back-nine errors from Tony Finau, with four straight birdies from the 13th taking him to 12 under and putting him in pole position to win a fourth PGA Tour title.

“Four shots on a windy, difficult, firm golf course is nothing,” Rahm said. “It’s me making two bogeys and somebody making one birdie and then suddenly it’s only a one-shot lead.

“Many times when I see myself three, four shots behind, like I did at Torrey [Pines], for example, I’ve always hoped for really bad conditions because if you play good, it’s the easiest way to make up a large deficit.

“Now I’ve got to flip that and hope I have good weather because if you play good, it’s the best way I have to possibly increase that lead and try to win by as many as possible. That’s going to be my mission tomorrow, just go play good golf and hopefully have a good cushion coming down the stretch.”

Victory would see Rahm become only the second Spanish golfer in history to top the world rankings and the first since Seve Ballesteros, less than a year on from joining him as the only Spanish players to top the European Tour’s Order of Merit.

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“A few months ago in Dubai I got the opportunity to make some Spanish history and it would be doing it again to become [world] No 1 after Seve [Ballesteros],” Rahm said. “It’s obviously a big deal.

“But it is a consequence of me winning tomorrow. What’s important to me tomorrow is hit good shots, be committed and get the job done. Everything else will be taken care of afterwards.

“I’said many times thanks to that Ryder Cup in ’97 and his captaincy and the way he inspired many not only in Spain but in Europe, he’s the reason why I’m playing here today. Any time I can do something remotely close to what he did, it’s pretty emotional. I can’t lie.

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