Rahm inspired by Spanish legacy in Ryder Cup triumph

ROME: Jon Rahm was inspired by the legacy of Spanish Ryder Cup heroes as he played a crucial role in Europe triumphing over the United States in Rome on Sunday.

Rahm earned three points in the 16.5-11.5 victory to remind fans of his fellow countrymen Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia who have made history in the tournament.

Garcia is the Ryder Cup's all-time points scorer with 28.5 collected over 10 editions, while the late icon Ballesteros and Europe vice-captain Olazabal picked up 22.5 and 20.5 respectively.

"Obviously the Spaniards have a legacy to live up to. It's certainly not easy," Rahm told reporters.

"It's a lot to live up to and it's something that really inspires me, especially when Jose is around, right. He always tells me little things to inspire me.

"Following in their footsteps and how they try to make the team better is the way I've approached it. I try to do my part."

The Basque, nicknamed 'Rahmbo' by fans and teammates alike, won two matches over the weekend but it was his two halves which had the bigger impact.

Rahm rolled a superb 90-foot putt to within inches of the 18th to snatch a half-point from his singles contest with world number one Scottie Scheffler, stemming an early wave of American pressure and taking Europe to 12 points.

He also rolled in a magical putt on the same hole in the Friday foursomes to ensure that the US didn't win a match in a day for the first time in the Ryder Cup.

Rahm hailed the "culture" which binds the European team together and makes them a tight unit, something that captain Luke Donald also spoke about after Sunday's triumph.

"It's the ability to walk through those gates and those doors and forget about who you are outside of this week, what you have done or what you may do afterwards, really truly doesn't matter," said Rahm.

Brooks Koepka denied that the US were lacking that sort of team spirit, amid reports of a rift in Zach Johnson's camp which hampered their tournament.

The Americans have perennially been accused of being a collection of great individuals rather than a great team with that being pinpointed as a reason why they haven't won in Europe since 1993.

"I said it before the event, I thought this was the closest team that I think I've been on.

"We've got a great group of guys. This week, they just holed a lot more putts, a few more chip-ins. This team, we fought hard, and wouldn't want to do it with another group of guys."--AFP

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